He spoke softly to concerned fans who finally heard directly from their club’s owner via a rare interview.
In a purposefully decorated London office with a frame everton memorabilia and history books, Farhad Moshiri tried to calm the nerves of the jittery crowd in response to questions from the Fans’ Advisory Board (FAB).
He said, “We need a striker – we’ll get a striker.” “We are strengthening the team and I have no doubt that the second half of the season will be even stronger. This is our goal and the goal will be achieved.”
Seven days later, after a somber end to the transfer window that once again reflected the debilitating dysfunction at Everton’s summit, Moshiri’s reassurances were empty. His promise was broken.
A club that was desperate to come out of a stronger January instead became vulnerable in February. Their only business was to sell one of their best first-team players, Anthony Gordonfurther draining a position he already needed to bolster before his £45m ($55m) exit was penalised.
Everton were the only top-flight club not to add to their squad as their rivals strengthened to avoid relegation in a big way.
While director of football Kevin Thelwell and the recruitment team worked unsuccessfully until Tuesday’s deadline, some fans gathered outside the club’s Finch Farm training ground to protest. Their banners, draped above the gates, depict Moshiri, Chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Dennis Barrett Baxendale in clown makeup with the word “Liars” underneath.
Many will vent their frustration before and after Saturday’s game against the leaders Arsenal.
This is the story of a transfer period that started alarmingly and descended into disaster.
Frank Lampard said it until he got tired of it. Everton needed new strikers.
On 22 December, he told the club’s official website that “we need help”.
“It would also have been a windowed job,” he said. “It’s going to take time and you can’t fix what you might want to do in one window. We’ve brought some really good players into the club but we need help in the January window.
“We lost Dominic Calvert-Lewin, clearly. Hopefully this will change but we can see that maybe we can have more options at the end of the field. We’re looking into that.”
As time went on, Lampard’s responses to inquiries about the January transfer window became increasingly terse. It wasn’t hard to see that behind the scenes, despite his and Thelwell’s efforts, finding help was harder than ever.
Money was tight. New futures offers must be either loans or loan deals with an additional payment obligation. It meant that Everton had time and again missed the best targets for clubs who had the financial resources and cash to get deals done faster and more effectively. from being lost Mathews CunhaChristmas gift from Wolves Owners Julen Lopetegui, style is set.
the ward Dango Ouattara he is going to BournemouthHoffenheim Georginio Rutter to Leeds. Another target, the German striker Kevin Shadyto choose Brentford. Lampard was particularly angry at his trial Premier League striker Danny Ings join West Ham United team.
After losing 2–0 to West Ham, the result that sealed Lampard’s fate, Ings was described as a “great striker” and a “real team player”. Everton has come close Aston Villa To sign for 30 years but can only make a loan. West Ham have raised £12m and David Moyes confirmed what that means to him with the win over his former club. “I’ve had fantastic support from the board throughout and I have to say, they’ve really helped,” said the Scotsman. “Even buying Ings yesterday shows you that they want to help and do whatever they can.”
There will be no help in sight for Lampard. Two days later, he was packing his things and negotiating a settlement deal for him and his staff that Everton will have to factor in their financial landscape as they try to find his successor and sign new players.
The targets kept going elsewhere. Chris Wood join Nottingham Forest And most damagingly, the Dutch attacker Arno Danjumawhose closeness to becoming an Everton player may have encouraged Moshiri to be very upbeat in his interview, He made a last minute turn to sign for Tottenham Hotspur After the dismissal of Lampard.
The former manager was influential in the negotiations, but with Lampard gone and his successor uncertain, the… Villarreal The striker began to change his mind just as Tottenham hijacked the deal.
However, there was plenty of time to recover and find begging replacements.
Indecision and confusion in the hierarchy over the position of the Everton boss has further complicated matters. When it came to attracting players, Lampard was an attraction.
Uncertainty about his position near the end added to some players’ reluctance to sign. Then the uncertainty over his replacement, as Marcelo Bielsa had been courted unsuccessfully, added to the problems.
When it comes to moving Gordon to NewcastleThe sale on Sunday wrapped up a week when Moshiri was heavily involved in negotiations from London, taking the lead alongside his advisors in closing the deal with the north-eastern club.
In the end, I was left feeling unsure about more of the British-Iranian owner’s words earlier this month.
“Every aspect of the football operation is not run by the board,” he said. “We have Director of Football Kevin Thelwell, who is primarily responsible for recruiting, academy development, medical science… Kevin Thelwell manages all of these aspects of the football business under the board of directors.”
In the end, it was not Thelwell who agreed to sell Gordon, nor did he have a say in the amount of fees he would have to spend.
Instead, he had to go on increasingly desperate attempts to prevent it from being the dismal final act of one of the worst transfer spells in the club’s history.
With Gordon gone, a chaotic window end ensues.
Recent days have seen Everton scramble to look for alternatives, only to end up empty-handed.
In ideal circumstances, Gordon could have been sold early in the window with the money reinvested immediately. However, the advice fell on deaf ears and common sense did not prevail. Other clubs saw them coming and raised the asking prices for players accordingly.
Nor does Everton’s recruitment arm appear to have room to fully reinvest the funds. Such was their grave status in the table, most of the purchase items within their potential loans would only be applicable in a survival situation.
One of the only exceptions to the rule was a failed pursuit Chelsea‘s Connor Gallagher. And the midfielder, who was previously courted by Lampard, had already made it clear he had no interest in switching. Key figures in the hierarchy knew a move was always doomed, but inquiries about the big money deal were being made regardless, news leaked and Everton ended up looking ridiculous. Oddly enough, the central midfield position was not, at that point, considered a top priority internally.
As in previous windows, it was not always easy for those based on Merseyside to keep up with events elsewhere. Moshiri spent two weeks in London trying to sort out the mess at the club. All his existence actually did, was more cloud matters. The delay in announcing Lampard’s departure came as staff tried to work out what was happening in the capital. Most initially heard about Lampard’s sacking through media reports, rather than through internal communications. At crucial moments across the window, they are left in the dark.
Moshiri discussed recruitment procedures in his interview with First Abu Dhabi Bank a few weeks ago.
“Either the director of football or the manager will suggest the player’s name after that, once they sign (a document in the agreement), a document will be sent to the president and me,” he said. “Once the president signs, I sign.”
This was not always the case with new signings or even managers. Summer looked like a step in the right direction, as Thelwell’s recruiting team was tasked with negotiating deals. But the boundaries were blurred again in January.
The lack of alignment hampered Everton’s belated attempts to resolve the situation and the final days of the window became increasingly desperate.
In an exciting finale, Everton asked about Gallagher and his Chelsea team-mate Hakim Ziyech. They were beaten by 20-year-old Rennes winger signing Kamal Eddine Slimana, who had been on their radar since his teenage days in Denmark, by Southampton. An investigation has been made regarding striker Beto from Udinese however Serie A The club’s valuation proved exorbitant. They check availability Michy Batshuayi And Jean-Philippe Mattita And saw a loan offer with a commitment to buy for Watford‘s Ismaila Sarah Refusal.
By this afternoon’s deadline, officials also ruled out moves for Thorgan HazardAnd Victor Geocres and Chiraldo Becker from Union Berlin. Elimane Ndiaye Was a pleasure to stay in Sheffield United. Reports in Italy indicated that Everton had failed in their late bid for a loan Olivier Giroud. signature probability Anthony Elanga The higher loan target at the start of the window was reconsidered but they left it too late for other clubs to source alternatives.
Lucas Joao29 years old reading The striker, who has scored just five goals in 22 appearances this season, was tipped through mediators but was not seen as an improvement from what Everton already had. Joao was transferred from Sheffield Wednesday to Reading in 2019 through brokers representing the UK-based Kia Joorabchian Sports Investment Agency.
New manager Sean Daichy remained at Finch Farm until around 9.40pm, but left as hopes for deals faded. Thelwell and club secretary Dave Harrison stayed on until later, but the 11pm deadline passed without any new additions.
Everton woefully failed at precisely the wrong moment. I retreated while the others strengthened.
It remains to be seen if they will now look for free agents to fill the temporary gaps.
They are still very attached GhanaAndre Ayew, but Goodison sources have so far played down suggestions of a move. It says a lot about the balance of power at Everton Past interventions in football are things speculation continues regardless. This is the level of confusion and uncertainty that has developed under Moshiri.
That the same mistakes are still being made, even as employees come and go, indicates that the problems run deep.
It’s hard to fathom how the 33-year-old Ayew, who was last seen plying his career in the Country League, would fit into the ‘young and hungry’ recruitment model. However, this is the only market available to Everton until the summer at the earliest.
The fallout from the barren January window has already begun. The failure to reinforce amid the landing battle must be seen for what it is: a dereliction of duty. He gets the impression that new manager Dyche has been thrown out to sea without an oar.
Meanwhile, fans are enraged at what they see as broken promises.
But this is Everton talking now. This was another window that showed why they were in such danger.
(Top photo: Alex Burstow/Getty Images)