Actions may speak louder than words but that won’t have stopped Everton fans from being impressed by the sounds coming out of their club this summer. It has been a busy two weeks at Goodison Park. Marco Silva has been instilled as the club’s new manager with Marcel Brands the new name on the Director of Football door.
Further changes have followed in the boardroom, with a new CEO just one of several appointments to help Moshiri’s grip on the club tighten. Each appointment has had their say, delivering the usual platitudes that come when change is made at a football club. It is what Silva and Brands have had to say that will have filled Evertonians with just a little bit of hope again.
Allardyce refused to play better football
Silva’s promise to bring pressing, attacking football back to Goodison Park was enough to leave most Everton fans licking their lips. Seven months of football under Sam Allardyce has left them desperate for almost anything but the football he has to offer. Allardyce openly refused to play better football during his time in charge, often questioning the intelligence of those who believed his side were dull. Those watching knew better, though.
The stats showed his team were among the attacking teams in the league and anyone who happened to watch them under Allardyce’s leadership would have backed that up. Allardyce simply did not care. He had no worries for how the fans regarded him or the team. He only worried about whether they were picking up the points. The method was irrelevant.
Identity is everything
If promising the complete opposite to his predecessor wasn’t a sure-fire winner then vowing to build a side the fans can be proud of certainly was. For a team such as Everton, the fourth most successful club in England, identity is everything. When you know your club is unlikely to compete for the title and they haven’t won a trophy in 23 years, the ‘how’ is nearly as important as the ‘what’. If it isn’t going to be successful it must have entertainment and an identity to fall back on.
Afterall, loyalty is not earned in football by stasis. Everton fans would rather finish 11th and play great football than finish 8th, as they did under Allardyce, and suffer the tedium of his style week in and week out. Silva is promising an identity, something the fans can be proud of, and that is key after they had to endure Allardyce, a man who put his own reputation at the forefront.
Whether he can do it remains to be seen, but even should he fail, Evertonians will still be grateful. Most still appreciate Roberto Martinez for attempting to do the same thing. They fondly remember the Spaniard’s glorious first season in charge when they came within inches of securing Champions League football playing a style of football that had those in terraces declaring that the School of Science was back in business.
Brands has arrived with a glowing reputation
Martinez’s identity provided memories and Silva is offering the same thing. His chance of success will be heavily reliant upon the work being done by Marcel Brands above him. Brands has arrived with a glowing reputation following his work at PSV Eindhoven and must immediately set to work on cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor. Like Silva, his first statements have been nothing short of positive. Under his leadership, there will be no such mess as the one endured last summer.
Rather than a haphazard approach to signings, Everton will target players that fit into the system that he and Silva want to implement at the club. He intends to build a structure that will ensure Farhad Moshiri’s money is not as poorly spent as it has been in the past.
Similarly, his intentions to reorganise the club from top to bottom and ensure that the club’s history of developing their talent through their youth ranks continues to flourish are another positive sign. Unlike Steve Walsh, Brands appears to be a man with a plan and he knows how to implement it. His track record proves that plan is a successful one.
Unification is a blessing
Crucially the key word for both men is identity. Silva wants his side to have one and Brands wants the club to follow suit. Having endured several years of flitting between different ideas this unification is a blessing for the Toffees.
Both Brands and Silva have a lot of work to do to correct an Everton ship that sank drastically last season. Ultimately, it is their actions that will carry more weight than their promises, but if what they are saying so far is anything to go by, Everton appear to finally be in the hands of people who know what they are doing.
After Allardyce and Walsh, Evertonians will take that gladly.