Permission to Plan

If, like me, you watched this morning’s Allardyce Press Conference you may have spent the rest of the day swinging between panic and confusion, laced with a dollop or two of disbelief.

  • Are we really going to start next season with “him”?
  • We can’t surely, can we?
  • Hang on, we just might….wake me up!!!!

As the Football Club sticks to the Dad’s Army communications policy of “Don’t tell ’em your name, Pike!” rumours abound more than ever:

  • Moshiri was surprised there weren’t more protests at the Newcastle game, so if none more materialise v Soton, he’s going to stand by his man!
  • Bill wants Sam gone, but Moshiri doesn’t
  • Sam is “definitely toast” once the whistle blows at West Ham; Board meeting today will ratify that.

You pays your money (aka renews your Season Ticket), you takes your choice.

The one thing that does appear clear in the fog of confusion is that we/the Board/Farhad Moshiri do not have a plan. As I have said before, there is not a plan in the world that could have included Koeman, Unsworth & Allardyce.

In the absence of a plan, I’ll give you mine for you to comment on/tear apart/laugh at/share. Whatever you think of it, it’s a plan and every business needs one in order to succeed.

Here goes:-

It’s clear that we can’t just buy our way into the Top 6/Big 4, in fact we have spunked £200m+ on going backwards. It’s also clear that Steve Walsh was not a Director of Football, he has not set a style of play, a philosophy and recruited for that. He’s been in conflict with both Koeman & Allardyce hence the surfeit of #10s and absence of #9s.

So we hire a new DoF: Marcel Brands looks to be the man to me: great track record in Holland, rightly a man in demand. Go all out for him and sell him the Plan, the vision detailed below.

As far as a Manager is concerned we need to stop dreaming about getting a top drawer guy in with a proven track record; it’s just not going to happen, especially after the carnage of the first two years of the Moshiri era. We aren’t attractive to Tuchel, Emery, Simeone and others, we need to be realistic.

So we need a young, hungry guy who can learn from the DoF and work with him to develop a plan, a 3-5 year Plan. This Plan would see us moving into Bramley Moore in 2022 (we can’t mess that up, can we?!?!) properly competitive for a place in the Top 6 and cemented as not being worse than 7th. The Top 6 are not set in tablets and we are there to capitalise on their problems (look at Arsenal and Chelsea alone this year, and Man Utd, Spurs, and Liverpool  before that). It’s a tough competitive world.

For the next two, maybe even three, seasons we accept that we may come anywhere between 7th and 16th whilst we develop and establish a “new” Everton way, rooted in entertaining, attacking football with pace, flair and a bit of steel. We play full strength teams in both domestic cups and go all out to win one of them when the big boys have bigger fish to fry.

Crucially we become truly competitive in our League fixtures against the Top 6, home AND away. No more surrenders at Spurs, Arsenal, Old Trafford. A better haul than the truly pathetic 3 points earned from 12 fixtures against them this term is essential and a vital KPI.

These are the targets that the DoF & Manager buy into, and that, subtly, the fans are educated on by a newly appointed Chief Engagement Officer.

The new Manager and DoF are introduced to the Media at the same time by Moshiri himself who takes the opportunity to explain his Plan (in broad terms obviously without the specifics). Both men are given contracts of at least 3 years, ideally 5, and fans can, hopefully, buy into the new vision. We understand the direction of travel, the vision and the objectives.

For far too long the Club’s appalling communications policy and utter mistrust of every outside party has led to complete disengagement with fans and other stakeholders. It has set fans against each other and led to a disconnect between the players, manager and those who should be (and really want to be) supporting them.

With a clear Plan we can unite, and, even more importantly than that, we have a chance of understanding what we are trying to achieve and how we are going to go about it.

As I said before we need a young man with a desire to prove himself. I think we are struggling to convince even Fonseca and Silva that Everton is a risk worth taking, which is why we are dithering over Allardyce.

Assuming we fail with both of them, I would pursue a “name”, but a name as an ex-player, not yet proven as a Manager. It’s a risk, yes, but a risk worth taking, in my view.

Zidane had never managed before and he’s done alright at the Bernabeu; a bloke called Kenny beat us to the Double in his first season across the Park. For every one who succeeds there is a John Barnes, Teddy Sheringham as counters; intelligent players who never cut the mustard as Managers, I know that

Anyhow I’ll give you three names:

  • Patrick Vieira
  • Thierry Henry
  • Frank Lampard

I would favour the latter, working alongside Brands, but would take any one of the three. They each have a reputation, presence and experience who would have credibility with players of all ages and phases of development. They would have contacts and be able to attract players both proven and emerging.

It might be sensible to retain Craig Shakespeare as Number 2; someone with Premier League experience who could guide Patrick, Thierry or Frank through the first couple of seasons in the Premier League.

Right, that’s my Plan. Make of it what you will, but, as I said at the top, a Plan is something we lack and have lacked for a good few years.

Keep the faith, however hard that is right now; we will have a bright new dawn on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey, won’t we?

@rodgerarmstrong

9 thoughts on “Permission to Plan

  1. Well said Rodger.

    When Moshiri emerged and bought in to EFC I tweeted:

    – what’s Moshiri’s plan then?
    – why no presser?
    – why are BK & RE still there?
    – what’s going on exactly?

    I was shot down buy dozens of Blues:

    “Doesn’t need a plan dickhead!”
    “City’s new owners didn’t invite the media – idiot.”
    “Kenwright will be gone soon.”
    “Typical Blue never f**king happy.”
    “None of are business.” [sic] (I kid you not, ‘none of ‘our’ business’)

    The usual Twitter grace.

    I think Moshiri needs to be more hands-on and realise EFC is a lot more meticulous than he ever imagined.

    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your spot on fella, those of us old enough to remember Sir John Moores remember him driving the club from the boardroom with him saying more than the Cat did, Moores never let the fans think mediocrity was the minimum. Moshiri now has the oppurtunity to stamp his mark on us all!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry liked and agreed the first part of the article, but Thierry Henry is an awful TV pundit, what makes you think he would cut it as a first time manager? He would visibly wilt at the first sign of any fan disgruntlement at Goodison. As for Frank Lampard, affable enough, but has he shown any inclination to even coach a team?

    He seem’s content with the comfort and warmth of a tv studio and being a regular guest on the awful Holly Willoughby inspired sports quiz show.

    Not for me I’m afraid.

    Like

      1. Totally agree, were floundering in a sea of mediocracy at the moment. No sign of strong leadership at the top. This is supported by the club desperately still trying to ‘flog’ tickets for the ‘Dixie’ event at the Phil, three days before the event.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a great post Rodger, if only the board was on the same wavelength as you. Can’t see anything other than Sam at the helm next season, and maybe, just maybe will be successful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The biggest problem with a plan is the restlessness of the punters. Do Everton fans – especially the newer breed – have the patience to wait? We have waited since 95 for a trophy, a lot of our fans will not be happy at finishing lower than 7th even with a defined plan or style of play. I can see totally where you are coming from and agree with you – but there would be a lot of discontent if an inexperienced manager was appointed. I think in the modern game, at the top, instant gratification is king.

    Liked by 1 person

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