New Everton manager to force Marcel Brands to answer transfer questions


Roberto Martinez had them.

And then Ronald Koeman after him. Sam Allardyce too, and Marco Silva too. Carlo Ancelotti also had a lot.

And whoever comes to replace the Italian at Goodison, will face the same problem.

There will be players on the team he doesn’t want.

There will be players from a different regime, era and manager that he does not assess, players who do not fit into his system, and players who he believes can be sold to help. the club to be reinvested.

This is normal for the course. It’s inevitable. It is the natural cycle of football and football clubs.

A new manager is coming and so it’s over with the old players and the new ones.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that clear.

Everton, looking for a fifth permanent manager in as many years, appear to have had more problems than others in this regard.

Think about these examples.

Mo Besic, the latest senior signing of the Martinez era, officially leaves the club at the end of the month. The Catalan was sacked more than five years ago.

Yannick Bolasie, one of the first recruits of the Koeman era, will also leave at the same time, three and a half years after the Dutchman’s removal.

Theo Walcott, Allardyce’s second signing, moves permanently to Southampton on July 1. Allardyce’s first signing, Cenk Tosun, has another 12 months to complete his contract.

Allardyce has been at Everton for more than three years.

You get the picture.

And while it must be recognized that players signed by different managers – Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne and Richarlison for example – have proven to be important players under new bosses, it is undeniable that Everton’s transfer strategy has need to be fixed.

The void caused by Ancelotti’s shock start could offer Everton, and in particular Marcel Brands, the opportunity to do so.

But the appointment of the right manager is crucial, for sure.

Last summer, for example, there were two types of signatures; the players Ancelotti wanted and the players Everton suggested.

Or as the former boss said: “The signing of the club”.

So, where Ancelotti requested James Rodriguez and Allan, as permanent signings, the club – led by Brands and his team – proposed Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey to fill key positions in the squad.

Two players had been spotted and analyzed in depth, two were players the manager had worked with before and whom he considered essential.

No problem. Good players with good pedigree. These were important signings to kick off Ancelotti’s long-term plans at Everton. Last week those plans were dashed when he accepted the chance to return to Real Madrid.

“Unlike in previous years, these players are a bit older than what we would normally buy,” Brands said in January of the addition of James and Allan.

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So will we see Everton return to normal this summer? Or will the new man be allowed to pick a few players he wants, regardless of their age, price, or profile?

James Rodriguez is a good player when he’s in good shape. Allan, too, has shown how much he can be an asset to the midfielder, when he’s not injured, but what does the new manager want them?

Players approaching or have already reached the age of 30 may not be the path the new man wants to go, as Ancelotti wanted.

He may want to play in a style, lineup or system that doesn’t necessarily fit Rodriguez or get the most out of Allan. They are not at an age where a coach is going to come and improve these players.

And what does that mean that they’ll definitely want to stay at Goodison under the leadership of a different man than the one who signed them?

They are very good players, but certainly not long term players. They were bought for the here and now under Ancelotti. But now Ancelotti is gone. What next?

Look, the new man might be happy to have them at his disposal, but there’s no guarantee. Before Ancelotti, they weren’t the type of players Everton was looking at.

These are the kinds of questions, going forward, that Everton’s signings and leadership appointment must do their best to minimize.

Everton new manager looking last

If there was a style built into the way the first team worked, then we might not even have this conversation.

The choice of manager, and the type of signing, must be part of a long-term strategy.

Rather than asking a manager to come to the table with a handful of names he wants and the club then go looking for them, regardless of age, profile or cost, it surely makes more sense than Everton agree with a manager on the need for reinforcement, come back to him with a preselection of players who meet the criteria of the club and then agree on which to target?

Look, it’s a much more complicated process, but you get the gist of it.

Brands has always maintained that he would never force a manager’s signature and, in the same way, there must always be a bit of slack in strategy, it cannot be absolutely rigid.

But the important point is that there has to be a strategy. There has to be, overall, a return to investing large sums of money in 20-25 / 6-year-olds and, maybe, maybe, a clear way to play. An identity on which the club agrees on the look, feel and play of the first team. So when the next management change comes after this one, the impact and disruption will be significantly less than it is now.

Ancelotti’s sting for the exit door has caused too much disruption, though many will have seen it coming.

There is a feeling that Brands has more control over this appointment than any of the previous two of his time at the club, but the names that come up are on different ends of the management spectrum.

Now is the time for Everton to decide what and who they want.

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