Can you imagine stepping out of a job interview - multiple interviews actually, if the candidate is to be believed - and then being interviewed by the media about how said job interview went?
The divine comedy (aka parody theatre) that Everton Football Club has degenerated into saw its latest act play out today on televisions countrywide as managerial candidate Vitor Pereira called in to Sky Sports to talk about his application for the vacancy at the club.
Reports from earlier today seemed to indicate that despite Farhad Moshiri initially overruling the reservations of the Everton Board to select Pereira (thanks to a word in his ear from super agent Kia Joorabchian), the billionaire owner of the club had decided to change his mind over the Portuguese gaffer due to protests from the fanbase who have been gathering outside Goodison Park and even unfortunately defacing the famed ground with graffiti.
However, in an unprecedented move, Pereira decided to talk to the media about the interviews he has had with the club, how the process has gone, the supporters backlash to his possible appointment, and whether he is still confident that he will indeed be the next manager of the Toffees.
Pereira started off by saying that club chairman Bill Kenwright was his contact at the club, having first connected with him after he left FC Porto in 2013. He went on to add that he had watched the Toffees playing at Goodison Park and his plan to correct the club’s downward spiral was to bring back the intensity that he was inspired by on that visit.
“A few years ago, when I finished my work in Porto, I was introduced to Mr Bill Kenwright. Since that time, we have kept a good relationship, and in this moment the club and the board are asking me to come for a meeting. I had a few interviews - not just one. More than one interview with different people at the club. We discussed everything. I discussed with different people in the club and on the board. I gave them my point of view about the club and what I think about the team, because they asked me to come, Moshiri and Bill Kenwright and other people in the club.”
“A few years ago, I remember the time of [Phil] Jagielka, [Leighton] Baines, [Seamus] Coleman, [Tim] Howard, and I remember Goodison Park as a fortress, and the passion of the supporters. This is what appeals [to] me in this club. I think this is a historic club and the challenge for me is to approach the club to the fans, to get again that kind of spirit and fire on the pitch, [like] what I watched a few years ago.”
The 53-year-old added that he had had a few interviews with Farhad Moshiri and a number of others in club leadership, saying he thought things had gone well and that the club were enthusiastic about his proposals to turn things around.
“I am not the manager, but I think the first decision as a manager in the club is to bring again the organisation, the way to press, the pressing game, the intensive game that I saw a few years ago in the club and in Goodison Park. For me, to watch a match in Goodison Park was something that inspired me. This is the spirit, to see the passion of the supporters again, to see the intensity, and to make other teams feel that Goodison is a fortress and it’s very difficult to play there. This is the spirit and the way to play that I want to bring again to the club.”
“What I felt from the club, I think they were enthusiastic [about] what I proposed to them: an intensive game, a pressing game, a game with possession. We need to give confidence again to the players and the team. We need to approach the fantastic supporters to the team again. This is what I proposed to them and what I felt in the meetings is that they were very positive with the interviews.”
“They have other candidates. This is a time for decisions. Just to wait the decision and be calm, and that they are grateful for the interviews and that’s all. What we talked [about] in the interviews is something we keep with us but what I can say to you is that the feedback from the interviews was good feedback.”
The Portuguese manager has been out of work for just over a month after being sacked by Fenerbahce, but insisted that despite being relegated in Germany’s second tier he should be judged on his entire body of work winning eight trophies over his career. Pereira was also surprised by the fans’ backlash that has seen the walls of Goodison Park defaced since rumours of his possible appointment became public.
“They don’t know me very well. They don’t know my work, they don’t know me as a person, they don’t know my CV. I worked in a lot of countries - different clubs, different levels. We got several titles. Before you know the person, you cannot judge. But I understand the feeling of the supporters because the last years the club didn’t get good results, and it’s normal they are not happy. But when I came here, I came with passion, with spirit and with the intention to bring again good football.”
“Of course. This is the first time in my career I’ve seen these types of things. I’ve never had these kind of comments about me. My CV speaks for itself. It’s the environment now because the club is not in a good position. The supporters have passion and this passion I think is the power of this club. I remember very well when I watched the games of Everton a few years ago, and sometimes the supporters won the game. The passion in football can be to the positive side or the negative side. In this moment, what a manager should do is bring again this positive passion for the supporters. I don’t take this as a personal attack.”
“We have eight titles in different countries. It’s not easy to get for everybody. Different countries, teaching young players with big experiences. I started my career in Porto, eight years, and it’s a club that forms top coaches and players around the world. We cannot have a career with everything positive. Munich was a very difficult situation. You cannot look for negative things - you must look at everything.
“This is something that I cannot control. But what I want to tell you is, all of my career, I worked under pressure. I worked in clubs that cannot draw one game. I don’t have doubts. I did my work as a professional and now the decision is the club’s decision. I came from a meeting, I did my work and now the decision is not controlled by me.”
Despite all the furor surrounding the club, Pereira remains confident that he is the right man for the job and won’t be waiting for the call from Moshiri and the Board should they decide he is the one to take over from Rafa Benitez.
“All my career I build with passion, with organisation, with competence, and this is what I can offer to the club. I give the clubs 100 per cent of me. Football for me is 24 hours thinking about football. This is my life. My passion, my competence and the organisation and the quality that I build in my career, this is what I can offer to the fans. A game with intensity, organisation and offensive spirit.”
“I will move forward with my life, and if they want me, they must call me. This is something I cannot control. I’m a professional, I do my work and now I will wait for a decision. Of course. I’m sure that, now or in the future, I will be in the Premier League.”
Whether or not Pereira gets the job eventually, this interview and what has gone on along with it has certainly been eyeopening for Evertonians, and to fans of the sport in general who have been treated to the spectacle of our internal affairs being conducted on national media, to our chagrin of course.