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Cowards In The Rafters

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.

What's the consensus then?

Posted by Everton FC – Grandoldteam on Saturday, 23 November 2019

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.

By Gil

  1. [

    Whether they are backing or sackibg the manager would be a start! But generally their comms are horrific.

    Well if they are not sacking him they are backing him surely?

    Not sure why the need to communicate no news? I feel that those wanting to hear some communication are those that want the manager gone?

  2. Quite agree that Brands has to decide when to pull the plug and who replaces Marco. The others should simply provide a budget.

    If we did get someone like Moyes in I’m fairly sure Brands will walk and that would be the saddest episode of this whole dysfunctional soap opera. You can see how he looks after the players and we need some continuity. To lose one DoF can be seen as a blip, to lose two will show we are an absolute basket case of a club.

    For what it’s worth Brands and Marco have been dealt a bad hand, with Zouma presumably hedging his bets until the last moment, Gana wanting out and his replacement getting crocked so quickly doesn’t help. Gomes was a freak accident and suddenly things look threadbare, but there are reasons for this.

    Marco however has shown time and again that he can’t change tactics part way through the game (just look what Mourinho did during the week – a couple of days into the job, yet we are still waiting…) and most of all the confidence of the team comes from the manager. Kean needed to start against the minnows in the cup competition and the team be setup to press and be as sharp as possible in attack. Score goals early on and everything becomes easier, mess around and the players settle into lethargy. For this he has to go but I’d rather we take 12 points from the upcoming games and progress in the cup and then boot him out in the summer.

    Just goes to show there are mangers and there are ,managers. Think we got ours in Home bargains

  3. I’d say Brands is in total control – within reason, the reason is Moshiri, but the other reason mightnby Bill too.

    I’ve been in a couple of jobs with ‘total control’ any problems they said, just use your initiative, thats what we pay you for

    Then.
    You’ve done what. next time you run these things past me…beginning of the end

  4. Quite agree that Brands has to decide when to pull the plug and who replaces Marco. The others should simply provide a budget.

    If we did get someone like Moyes in I’m fairly sure Brands will walk and that would be the saddest episode of this whole dysfunctional soap opera. You can see how he looks after the players and we need some continuity. To lose one DoF can be seen as a blip, to lose two will show we are an absolute basket case of a club.

    For what it’s worth Brands and Marco have been dealt a bad hand, with Zouma presumably hedging his bets until the last moment, Gana wanting out and his replacement getting crocked so quickly doesn’t help. Gomes was a freak accident and suddenly things look threadbare, but there are reasons for this.

    Marco however has shown time and again that he can’t change tactics part way through the game (just look what Mourinho did during the week – a couple of days into the job, yet we are still waiting…) and most of all the confidence of the team comes from the manager. Kean needed to start against the minnows in the cup competition and the team be setup to press and be as sharp as possible in attack. Score goals early on and everything becomes easier, mess around and the players settle into lethargy. For this he has to go but I’d rather we take 12 points from the upcoming games and progress in the cup and then boot him out in the summer.

  5. Read the first two paragraphs and Im bewildered.

    ‘Forced underground’ yeah ok mate…

    Instead of complaining about everyone else’s attempts to write something why don’t you try having a bash at it yourself?

    It’s easy to critique but much harder to put yourself under the spotlight

  6. I went a bit further, but am still bewildered too. Too many contradictions for my liking and the agenda is not very well hidden. One minute saying the board needs to stand up and take action, the next saying Brands should make the decisions, not the board.

    If you want Silva gone, just say you want Silva gone.

    I didnt even get that far…

    I mean the beginning is basically saying I am hiding rather than posting…

    Which im clearly not.

  7. Read the first two paragraphs and Im bewildered.

    ‘Forced underground’ yeah ok mate…

    I went a bit further, but am still bewildered too. Too many contradictions for my liking and the agenda is not very well hidden. One minute saying the board needs to stand up and take action, the next saying Brands should make the decisions, not the board.

    If you want Silva gone, just say you want Silva gone.

  8. Excellent article. Blue Bill’s meddling has been done to death on other threads. What of the role of DBB in this? Does the CEO have input into footballing matters, one would assume she probably has, at least to some degree. And given her tenure at the club, she is likely one of Kenright’s circle. And we have an owner who has form for ringing into radio/tv shows to discuss recruitment plans.. hardly ideal if you are Marcel Brands trying to build a coherent wider player conveyor belt type strategy.
    Agreed with the closing section of the article that the position of Marcel Brands might be vulnerable if a Moyes or equivalent old school manager is brought in next. Let the man do his job free of interference. If he is allowed to and it flourishes, well and good. If not, then hold him to account in 12 or 18 months time when we are back to this point.
    But please, keep Kenright’s influence in particular out of what happens next.
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