Whether or not David Unsworth has what it takes to be the permanent manager at Everton remains to be seen. However, even in a loss and the aftermath of it I think he has shown he is the right man to lead Everton until the end of the season.
Unsworth came into his presser today just full of positive energy, showing belief in his players, excitement about guys staying, optimism about their ability to get results, and just everything you want to see from a man taking over a dire situation.
In the aftermath of Ronald Koeman’s horrific leadership of the club that went so much deeper than just results, here are a few of the things that Unsworth said today:
DU: "The club is the most important thing."— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) October 27, 2017
Contrast this with Koeman who reportedly often didn’t refer to Everton as ‘us’ or ‘we’ in the dressing room.
DU: "We will pick a team to win the game, it's not difficult when you're working with top talent."— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) October 27, 2017
Compare this to Koeman who was still crying about his squad even after he was fired.
DU: "I like a smile around the place and an atmosphere where players feel free to express themselves"— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) October 27, 2017
Under Koeman, players had to get permission even to eat.
Before anyone can take this team in the right direction, it needs to shake off the filth of the Koeman reign. All the negativity, all the totalitarianism, all the undermining of players has to be washed away and replaced with a healthy approach to the sport, and I think David Unsworth is the right man to do that job because he believes in this club, he believes in his players, and he showed against Chelsea he’s actually willing to play guys in their real position. It’s sad that the last one is a breath of fresh air, but it certainly is.
What about long-term?
As I said, we don’t have enough information yet to know whether Unsworth is the man for us long term. I think our current situation is very similar to that of Tottenham in the 2013-2014 season. They had just sold a record breaking goalscorer, and the pieces they replaced him with did not seem to be working. They replaced a big name manager with a former player in Tim Sherwood who knew the club, and he guided them to calmer waters before being replaced in the summer by Mauricio Pochettino, who was clearly the right man for the job long term.
Meanwhile, Sherwood’s performance at Tottenham earned him a job elsewhere at Aston Villa. While that did not go as he would have planned, it did give him the chance to gain experience somewhere else and earn the opportunity to get back to Tottenham on a permanent basis.
I think Unsworth can earn a similar opportunity through the end of this season and if he has the managerial tool-set we think he has, he’ll prove elsewhere that he’s ready for this job. That extra experience will, in my view, give him the very best chance to be as successful as possible here in the future.
Unsworth deserves most of the praise he has received, and he’s earned the right to be trusted with carrying us back to secure footing until the end of the year. I think I speak for most Everton fans when I say he has the support of the fanbase, and he believes in our club. We will see where his career goes from here, but for now, all in on Unsworth. Sticking with him is good for the club both on the pitch, in the locker room, and in the court of public opinion.