Anyone Can Buy Success. Pep Has Proven Nothing.
I have to say I’m very impressed with the Toffees recently.
Legitimate questions over players’ ability to match the grand history and traditions of one of England’s biggest clubs are starting to be answered by Koeman and one or two of the players.
Instead of the constant rumours of the next Scouse wonder kid being poached by a City or United down the road, with the new investment, fine crop of young talent and very good manager, the tide may be turning in favour of the Toffees keeping their best players, pushing on and becoming a force again. For me, having played for the Red side, I can’t wait for this to happen!
Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Brendan Galloway and of course Ross Barkley are all fine players and have time and youth on their side, but the difference between them and the young crop at Spurs or Liverpool for example, is that the Lilywhites and Reds are saying to potential sharks fishing for their prized talent, “No thanks, not for sale, ever, and we mean it”.
We only have to look at the damaging effect that constantly having to battle to keep your promising young players (include managers in that too!) has on clubs, who all too often succumb to the cash rather than standing firm and resisting offers. If Everton are to thrive in the coming years, aside from investment money to spend, we need to look at them in the same way as Spurs, indeed even their players do and say “this is a destination now, not a stepping stone”.
Can Everton do it? Of course they can,
but it may take a scrap or two and one or two public spats with a precocious young talent to make that statement!
I always thought great management was making poor players functional, average players good, good ones great and great ones the very best. So, when all I hear from Man City supporters and journalists alike that, “Pep needs time and several transfer windows”, I know in real terms it means, “the gaffer can’t actually do any of the things listed, only spend on the world’s best and make a great team”.
Well, you reading this, as a layman, could probably have a billion pound budget and lose 4-0 at Everton, maybe even start the first ten games of the season unbeaten, which leads me to one question…
How good is Pep really?
Let’s look at his signings. Bravo, crap. Stones, mostly poor. This is fact, not speculation or conjecture.
What about making average players into good ones (for example, think Moses and Alonso at Chelsea, both who could easily have been playing in the lower level of the Prem this season). Anyone?
Any examples of average players made good by Pep? Not one!
What about great players made into the very best? While Hazard and Costa, two problem children for last season have been tamed (mostly) and made into consistent top level performers, arguably De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero have all stayed roughly where they were rather than take City onto the next level, so if I’m wrong I’ll admit it but I’ve yet to see anything which sets Pep Guardiola out as even a very good manager never mind one of the greats.
Let’s put this into context, I’m not nor ever have said he’s poor but great managers make more than enough from what they have, rather than leak, “I need an overhaul of the staff”. Have Chelsea had an overhaul? No. Conte went to two of the most underwhelming 90 minute performers he had around in Alonso and Moses and turned them into consistently very good.
So, until I see Zabaleta, Clichy or Sagna (all winners by the way) play anywhere near the level of the Chelsea Two, I will never be convinced in Pep when he finally, and he will, gets his way and spend a large fortune on buying off-the-peg great players.
That’s not great coaching, man management or ability. That’s just buying your way out of trouble. Oh and before I leave you this week, two more players who were going nowhere fast, Rojo and Jones. Jose and Conte are doing what great managers do while Pep isn’t.
So kids, come back to me when the squad players, the waifs and strays at City play consistently well rather than telling me how great Pep is when he buys a pick of the world’s best players in the summer. We could all succeed doing that.