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Toffees Mailbag: Sigurdsson, Pickford, Kenwright, Brands and more

Answering all of you relevant, and irreverent, Everton questions.

Everton actually won a match.

In fact, they actually outplayed their opponent.

It was fun to watch, the goals were beautiful and the squad looked cohesive.

Ok, that’s it, nothing else on last week’s match.

I don’t want to ruin it by saying too much.

Enjoy.

Now, let’s get into it!


He may have been expensive, but Gylfi Sigurdsson has done nothing but bust his ass for the club since Day 1.

Some statistics are shocking, this one is downright unbelievable.


Do people seriously consider this a competition?


The plight of the Everton fan this season.

Coming into the year with expectations higher than they have been in decades, the sudden, emphatic, embarrassing (lack of) start to the current campaign left every Toffee in a stunned state of confusion.

After wading through a year of mediocrity sprinkled with a few individual highlights (Jordan Pickford, Theo Walcott with some Wayne Rooney and Sigurdsson bits thrown in) and a BOAT LOAD of low lights (Morgan Schneiderlin and Ashley Williams to name a few), the light at the end of the tunnel that is the last game of the season is quickly approaching.

So after two seasons of (presumably) learning his lessons, what is the next move for Farhad Moshiri?

The first domino to fall was taken care of for the new owner, as it appears Robert Elstone is heading out the door to rejoin his first love, the rugby SuperLeague.

While fans are happy to hear there will be some turnover in the front office, I’ll be the first to say that Elstone’s efforts towards a new stadium have been far more productive than the jobs done by those more intimately involved with the on-field product: Bill Kenwright and Steve Walsh.

Kenwright has been seen as the steady hand on the Everton board, though whether that hand steadies the ship or holds the team down can be debated.

He has been part of the Toffees decision-making machine for decades, and after decades of stagnation, there seems to be a burning desire to remove Bill by those who do not question Kenwright’s love for the club, but rather his inability to move the club forward.

Personally, I must say that after a number of years of observation I now believe that it is time to get rid of BK.

He can leave with Steve Walsh, who should also exit the club.

After striking gold and watching Claudio Ranieri piece together a title-winning side, Walsh has so far proven to be a dud for Everton.

While there is certainly room to argue that some of his recruits have been stifled by the constant change over at the top and inability of the club to take risks due to table position, the reality is that most of the Toffees signings since Walsh has been in place have failed to work out.

So will a massive turnover in Everton board allow the club to finally take off?

Well, depends on who they recruit....to.....recruit.

The first name being mentioned (louder and louder theses days) is PSV Sporting Director Marcel Brands.

So is Brands the man who could bring sustained Top 4 ambitions to Goodison?

While I do think that a man of Brands’ caliber is a MAJOR step up from Steve Walsh, I also believe the club would need to bring in a manager capable to carrying out Brands vision, or at least offer up there own for Brands to try and help make a reality.

Brands has built a reputation in Holland for bringing along players and building them up before selling them for huge profits (Kevin Strootman and Dries Mertens to name a few) it is yet to be seen how he would operate as a middle-sized fish in the largest pond in the land.

Without much time to let young players develop (the Premier League is too tough I guess?) Brands would have to identify talented players who could step right in and make a difference AND would be willing to join an Everton side seemingly always in flux.

However, with all of that pessimism, I do believe there are better days ahead. Farhad Moshiri may give an awkward conversation, but he is not a dumb man, and even he must see how Big Sam and Co. have dulled the senses of Everton fans.

Toffee supporters have been patient as the new owner has learned the ropes, but now is the time for Moshiri to make a declaration of intent by bringing in a Sporting Director and Manager who have both a long-term vision and the ability to make that vision a reality.

If I had my way I wouldn’t mind seeing Marcel Barnds come in to put together the big picture with Paulor Fonseca (or Thomas Tuchel) coming in to man the bench.

That would give the Everton faithful some hope, and if I things go how I think they will it would give them what they really want: a trophy.


Everton fans like me, delusional???


Hey guys, Cenk Tosun might actually be pretty good.


I’d laugh...but I’ve been watching the Toffees all season and nothing is EVER out of the question.

So the only way to determine who would fit best in Glfyi’s now vacated position is to check out the stats.

First, let’s compare their passing stats, key in the #10 position

To summarize:

  • Cuco Martina is not a great passer of the ball.
  • He is still OVERWHELMINGLY better than Mason Holgate.
  • Joel Robles plays a lot of long balls.
  • Cuco has 2 assists... I’m not sure whether that is a good number (he’s not a left back) or a bad number (he has played A LOT of matches)

Verdict: Cuco (by default)

Now how about the attacking side of the ball:

Summary:

  • Mason Holgate gets in half a shot a game. (WTF??)
  • Cuco has a slight edge over Mason in Key Passes
  • Stekelenburg and Robles are never dispossessed.
  • Mason gets fouled a lot.
  • Joel never takes a bad touch.
  • Cuco dribbles people as often as the second and third string keepers.

Verdict: Robles

So it comes down to Cuco vs Joel. Martina has the passing skills, but Robles is the best attacker.

So....

Who would be the best #10?

After much deliberation, the winner is:

Everton FC v Atalanta - UEFA Europa League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

I mean....he IS Spanish.

What’s that?

A penalty?

What penalty?

Oh yeah, that one.

Well, I stick by my choice!


Note to Everton front office: Having multiple players at fullback is a GOOD idea.

I repeat, having more backup fullbacks is a GOOD idea.


Something good??

Happen at Goodison??

Seriously though.

If Big Sam signs an extension (or isn’t fired as soon as the season ends) the Everton fan base is going to go into even greater hysterics than that time that....well...you know what...you choose the poignant Everton moment that best encapsulates the emotions you will feel if Big Sam somehow earns anymore time in the managers seat for the Toffees.

Maybe your senses are just picking up his imminent dismissal?


TOFFEE TUNES

B-Grade University

Alex Lahey

Enjoy.

FAVORITE TRACK: You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me