The pendulum has swung. I’ve been upfront on my opinion regarding the manager for some time; not good enough. There’s been plenty of back and forth amongst supporters recently but Norwich appears to have signalled the point of no return.
Any remaining staunch supporters will be forced underground, afraid to peep over the clouds of anger. It wasn’t long ago those who wanted Silva out felt the same, reluctant to voice their concerns as the snipers were waiting – it’s a project, he needs more time and let’s show some patience etc etc. That’s the polarity of opinion and part of the twisted beauty of supporting Everton.
My intention isn’t to criticise the manager, he’s had plenty of that recently. However, it appears he’s staying in the driver seat for the next game, at least. Although, pathetically this hasn’t been confirmed by Everton and we’re relying on ‘sources’. Silva now embodies the sacrificial lamb whilst those above cower in the shadows. How Silva’s psychology stands currently. Is unknown, I can only speculate that its not great.
There’s sympathy on a human level for Silva, but he’s fell on his own sword. In the final embers of many a managerial life familiar and worrying behaviours seem to repeat; bizarre statements set alarm bells blurring – like, highlighting our lack of pace as a primary reason for losing a game having picked a visibly slow team, persisting with the same tired personnel and alienating young players; including one who’s good enough to play for one of the best teams in the world but of course is not good enough for Everton FC.
Most damning of all – out of a possible 75 points available, after falling behind in a game, we have salvaged five points. Five points! This stinks of terrible in-game management, lack of ideas and abysmal leadership. All-in-all it doesn’t bode well for Leicester. We can’t afford to toss points away at this stage, negative momentum is hard to redirect.
I have no personal gripe against the manager, I’ve no doubt he works very hard, he carries himself with dignity, he shows respect, he’ll be desperate to be successful and he’s never verbally soured our name; his shoulders aren’t quite broad enough to match up to our personality as a fanbase.
He’s not turning it round, pull him out now, do the decent thing – let’s not use him as a shield that deflects the fire from those behind scenes. Those above need to afford the manager the same level of respect and remove him, now. For footballing and basic decency reasons, as it stands, it’s not happening and that’s nothing short of disgraceful.
So who’s making the decisions? Who relays the information seeping out of Everton over the last three days? The fact we need to ask these questions is mystifying, screams incompetence and inexplicably shows contempt for the fanbase; refer to the Mark Hughes rumours. As always Everton persist in silence as supporters scramble and forage on hearsay – those at the helm know the problems aren’t going to evaporate after 72 hours. The fact Everton appear to be petrified of their own fanbase highlights that, as an entity, Everton are consistent in one trait at least – cowardice.
What can be garnered is there’s conflict at Board level and the usual suspects appear to be at the head of the table.
Naively, when Brands was recruited I was excited as this was a professional with pedigree and a proven record of success; also, something Everton have failed to do previously, that being, recruiting one of the very best in their field. Of course we’d utilise him properly? Allow the non-footballing individuals at Everton to finally take a back seat on footballing decisions and relieve that unwanted pressure. Brands becoming a Board member appeared to have cemented his position as a pivotal cog for Everton driving forward.
I was under the impression Brands’ remit wasn’t just primarily recruitment, but would involve overseeing all footballing systems; attending to the academy, instilling a philosophy, first team/academy recruitment and long-term/future planing. This would encompass earmarking potential manager options should current managerial options fail. Brands is undoubtedly an expert, you recruit a man of this calibre so you can place your trust in them and any risk is therefore reduced.
Brands should be solely responsible for picking the next manager. Others on the Board have no place in the discussion, of course Moshiri signs the cheques, you either trust the system or you don’t, in essence you need Brands or you don’t. Embrace the system fully, or don’t bother, there’s no point in an half-hearted approach. The noise from Everton currently speaks of factions and distrust. Maybe Brands has made mistakes in recruitment? It’s difficult to say without knowing the context behind the scenes, perhaps this has eroded the trust that Brands’ decisions are not infallible?
Analysing other aspects regarding Brands’ relationships at Everton raises further concerns. Brands has been clear that youth would be a key facet of Everton’s development, this has been ignored by the current manager, a better word would be discouraged. There were rumours circulating about recruitment disagreements in the summer which led to procrastination in the market. Again, embrace the system or, if the overlords at Everton feel this is too much power for one man to wield, abandon it.
Personally, Brands if by far the most proven ‘football man’ at Everton so give him the keys to all the properties. This isn’t the time for overbearing landlords to be interfering. Brands is the agency you pay good money for so let him do his job.
My fear with how the current situation is unfolding is the potential alienation of Brands, this is speculation, from the outside he appears to be being grossly undermined. Do we want to force perhaps the most important asset at Everton to leave at the earliest possible opportunity? Brands’ role requires long-term planing and projections, let’s not shorten it unnecessarily because financial personnel are becoming overly involved in footballing decisions.
The biggest threat to Everton right now are the dysfunctional members of the Board. I’m worried at the moment. I feel we’re at a vital crossroads and one or two more bad decisions could take us into an oblivion. Bad decisions accumulate, there’s been many recently, more and we could be pushing our luck too far.
The hierarchy at Everton need to display some transparency, stop hiding behind meaningless titles of responsibility and show some bravery. There’s many ways to show bravery; show some by communicating with supporters and making it clear who’s making the decisions. Or allow the man you hired to be Director of Football to do his job unhindered and direct football.
We’re a few bad choices away from a dark place, alternatively we could be one good call away from a brighter future going forward. Changes need to unfold at the very top for that to happen. The decision makers need to stand up, reflect the supporters and show some correctly directed passion and bravery.