• Welcome to The Everton Forum!

    You appear to be browsing The Everton Forum as a guest user. Did you know that if you sign up with an account, you get access to all kinds of additional priviledges, and are then able to join the discussions? You will also be able to tap into the full suite of tools and information that The Everton Forum has to offer.

    Already a member? Login Now!

Steve Walsh - Sacked!!!!!!!!!!


The glue that holds this place together
So we'll spend £150m by 5pm tonight? Nice one snoop
Everton find out hard way what they were lacking on transfer deadline day
7 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 9:14PM

Poaching the man credited with scouting Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kanté among others was a summer move that typified the bold approach of Farhad Moshiri’s new Everton, even if it meant jutting out elbows and trampling on toes in the same way the club felt they were often treated by others.

Steve Walsh’s recruitment from Leicester City was a way of Everton appropriating the secrets of English football’s improbable champions, and no doubt his keen judgment will bring some good players over the years.

But of all the upwardly-mobile Premier League clubs it was Everton’s transfer window that ended with the most discord, and accusations of a haphazard strategy that saw them start deadline day pursuing Moussa Sissoko and end it loaning Enner Valencia.

As the highest profile addition to their recruitment side, Walsh has been the one who finds himself in the firing line but it really begs the question what Everton expected of a man whose role in the Leicester miracle might have been misunderstood along the way.

Walsh is regarded in football as a first-class scout whose judgment can be relied upon – as much as anyone in that line of business can be expected to get it right all the time.

Yet he was appointed as a director of football at Everton, and that role is very different to the one in which he made his name.

All Premier League clubs operate in a different way but generally speaking you can draw a clear line between those who have titles like director of football, technical director, director of football operations or recruitment director and then, on the other side, the chief scouts.

The set of skills required for the first category are very different to those in the second, and the deficit might go some way to explaining what Everton lacked in this summer’s window.

The modern director of football is expected to create the system that recruits and retains players, leading that operation and all that goes with it. They manage the expectations of the manager, and the club’s owners. They organise the scouts. They budget. They help to decide which positions require strengthening and then, based on the scouting, analysis and a clear idea of the finances, present a realistic set of options.

The director of football is expected to sign players who suit the squad’s age profile, and the team’s philosophy. He is expected to know what talent is coming through the academy and try not to block their path. He is expected to manage contracts, ensuring the club protect their best assets. He is expected to negotiate deals for new players, new contracts for existing ones and sale fees for the departing.

Most of all you might say that he seeks out value in the transfer market – in fees, salaries and all other costs. And value does not necessarily equate to buying cheap players.

At Leicester, Walsh was head of recruitment and David Mills the chief scout, although both were effectively the men who scouted potential signings. The deals were done by Jon Rudkin, the current director of football, and football operations director Andrew Neville.

That was widely known within the director of football community who, like any other niche profession, keep a close eye on one another. Those on the inside see the names cc’d on the emails when the deals are being negotiated. In the Premier League that means individuals like Paul Mitchell, at Tottenham Hotspur, soon to leave; Nicky Hammond at West Bromwich Albion; Mark Cartwright at Stoke City; Txiki Begiristain at Manchester City; Les Reed and Ross Wilson at Southampton.

At Arsenal, Dick Law, as his title of chief negotiator suggests, is there to get deals done. Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman at Manchester United, is in charge of negotiating but he also works with Matt Judge, the head of corporate finance, who comes from a commercial sponsorship background. The commercial aspect plays such a major part in the deals United agree with their biggest names, that Judge’s involvement makes sense.

Liverpool’s transfer negotiations are led by the chief executive Ian Ayre and club secretary Ian Silvester with input from Michael Edwards, the club’s technical director. Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo has special responsibility for the club’s extensive collection of development players out on loan, as well as pursuing transfer targets with director Marina Granovskaia.

The notion of a director of football role was first introduced to the English game by Daniel Levy who brought in Damien Comolli to Spurs at a time when most of us were wedded to the notion of the omnipotent, Sir Alex Ferguson-style manager in control of everything. As a consequence, Comolli was judged more harshly than he deserved and in the years since then the reality has dawned that major clubs cannot do without someone in that role, or a variation on it.

It is a new cadre of football executive who have taken it on, and they come from different backgrounds than those who have typically commanded top jobs in the game. It is a role that demands skills that the traditional scout or manager does not necessarily have. As for the old suspicion that a director of football was just after the manager’s job, that feels totally redundant these days.

The experience of Walsh will no doubt tell him that the new job comes with some very specific demands


Crocs lover
It's just a title. I'm sure Walsh will be doing the same job as he did at Leicester in reality.

Koeman will be more a lot more hands on with things than other managers at clubs who have a DoF. IMO.
I expect that once Moshiri takes his majority stake in the club, he'll appoint a new CEO and chairman, and those appointments will deal with the finances and negotiating, while Walsh does the football side of things.
I expect that once Moshiri takes his majority stake in the club, he'll appoint a new CEO and chairman, and those appointments will deal with the finances and negotiating, while Walsh does the football side of things.
I as under the impression clubs use directors of football to deal with this as they understand professional football more which then allows Chairmen and CEO's to deal with just running the business and managers to focus on the playing side of things.

I think Sheedy posted so a few weeks/months back.
Steve Walsh: ‘The next Kante? I’ve already brought him to Everton’
‘Super scout’ Steve Walsh has high hopes of Gana and other new signings at Spurs today

Jonathan Northcroft, Football Correspondent
March 5 2017, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

Into the future: Steve Walsh spotted 10 of Leicester’s title-winning line-upTONY MCARDLE
The most influential person in the Premier League was at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday, on a cold, dank evening, watching League Two football on a quagmire pitch. Blackpool v Barnet: well, you never quite know. “I’m just going to have a look to see if there’s anybody there,” Steve Walsh had said. An addict talking. At 63, with a track record that leaves him nothing to prove, he would have been forgiven for staying at home.

“My wife would say I’m obsessed,” says Walsh in amused Lancastrian tones, “but the more you watch, the more knowledge you acquire.”

There is nothing quite like that moment of first clapping eyes on a talent. After all, it was only a few miles up the coast from Blackpool, in an obscure FA Cup tie, that Walsh saw Jamie Vardy at Fleetwood.

Vardy was among 10 players recruited by Walsh who were in Leicester’s regular starting XI last season. Those 10 cost £21m. As Leicester closed on their title miracle, Sir Alex Ferguson said: “The most influential person in the Premier League has been Steve Walsh.”

Obsession struck early. Growing up in Chorley, to Irish parents, Steve and brother Mickey were daft on the game. The magazine, Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly, invited entries for a boys’ seven-a-side competition and Steve chivvied pals to club together the fee.

“I was the manager, the captain, washed the strips, organised the transport. We put the team together with players from different schools. I suppose I was doing recruitment even then.” He was 12.

Mickey, a forward, played for Blackpool, Everton and Queens Park Rangers before blazing a trail abroad with Porto. Steve, a centre-half, played non-league for Morecombe, Chorley and Leyland Motors while following a teaching career. While head of PE at Bishop Rawstorne High School, Croston, he was also European scout for Chelsea: after school on Friday he would race to an airport and fly off for a weekend of watching games, returning Sunday evening in time for school again. He did not tell the headmaster.

At Leicester he was not only head of recruitment but assistant manager, and he is full of tales about how that team was put together — Riyad Mahrez for £350,000, Danny Drinkwater £1m. Maybe his favourite concerns N’Golo Kante.

“When I first saw him [for Caen] I thought ‘is there two of him?’ He was everywhere. He wanted to go to Marseilles. Leicester? He didn’t know where Leicester was. We had to almost kidnap him.

“I had friends in France bring him over. His primary agent didn’t even know he was there.” Walsh got Kante to switch off his mobile phone and would not let him leave the training ground until he signed.

Claudio Ranieri was sceptical. “Claudio kept saying, ‘He’s not big enough. Why do I want Kante?’ I said, ‘I’m telling you . . . ’” and Walsh wore down the Italian.

“We bought him for £5.2m, sold him for £32m,” Walsh says, adding with a twinkle: “If you have an employee who can make you £27m in 12 months, that’s not bad.”

Now, Walsh brings that acumen to Everton, as director of football. We’re chatting on a sofa in Ronald Koeman’s office and a conversation here was his start point when he arrived in July. “We used that tactics board,” he says, pointing, and he got Koeman to run through his preferred systems, structures of play and the key roles in his teams.

Unlikely lads: Steve Walsh lifts the Premier League trophy with Craig ShakespeareLEICESTER CITY FC
Walsh then did a player audit on Everton’s existing squad and began going through his own vast records, a combination of documents and computer files. “I work my scouts really hard. They go to three games per week minimum and have to write three lines about every player on the pitch, so you’re getting a database on maybe 28 players per game, and not far off 100 reports from one scout per week.”

Initially, it was not easy. Walsh arrived halfway through the transfer window and had agreed with Leicester not to pursue targets they were working on, but fans had great expectations. “Everyone goes Kante, Mahrez, Vardy, he won the Premier League but it’s hard to do that wow-wow factor every time. But I’d like to think we did sensible recruitment in that first window.”

In Ashley Williams, an £11m arrival from Swansea, “we needed a player who could bulk up that defence, who could trade punches, get blocks in, be a leader. John Stones, good as he is, probably wasn’t the player we needed at that time.”

The next Kante? “I’ve already found him,” chortles Walsh, half-serious. He is talking about Idrissa “Gana” Gueye. Walsh had earmarked Gana to replace Kante at Leicester, having scouted him extensively when he played for Aston Villa, and Gana’s £7m signing typifies Walsh’s knack of seeing value by looking beyond a player’s surrounds. “He was playing with a really poor back four and being bypassed a lot when the ball went the other way. But I remember thinking, ‘If I get the chance . . . this guy is better than he’s showing’.”

Now Gana has the best stats in Europe’s top leagues for tackles and interceptions, just like Kante last season, “even though he’s been away to the African Nations,” Walsh says. Gana will have another chance to impress at Tottenham this afternoon.

“He’s very grounded, gets whacked, gets up, gets around people when they have the ball — very much like Kante. I’d say his use of the ball is slightly better, even if he’s not quite as good at retrieving.”

Morgan Schneiderlin was hardly a find, but a deal that was important to get done. The latest discovery is Ademola Lookman. Fans craved big names when the January window opened and there was surprise when Walsh’s first signing was a teenaged striker from League One. “Ademola’s the future,” Walsh explains. “He was on my radar at Leicester. I saw him against Oldham Athletic for Charlton, and never changed my mind on him. He’s got two feet. He’s not one who shifts it to his ‘stronger’ foot to finish. He does things that are unusual.

“There are things to add to his game, but I’ve real hope for him making it into the England team, if I’m honest.”

Lookman is in the vanguard of a strategy aimed at pushing Everton into the top four. A priority for Walsh, on arriving, was retooling the club’s under-21 recruitment. He installed Jamie Hoyland at its head, Damien Matthew in the south and Tony Grant in the north and issued an order: “Go away and find me the best five or six players where they’re at an age I can invest.”

Walsh has high hopes that Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a 19-year-old with power and pace, snared from Sheffield United for £1.5m, can be next to break through. When Lookman did it was glorious, the youngster coming off the bench with a minute left and still scoring in a 4-0 defeat of Manchester City.

Everton’s star on that rapturous night at Goodison was Tom Davies, a home-grown 18-year-old. “I see a lot of Bryan Robson about him, that swashbuckling, never-say-die attitude, wanting to be involved in everything. And he’s not just about aggression, he’s clever — 18 years of age for goodness sake. We might have to renegotiate that contract,” Walsh laughs.

“Putting Mola and Tom in the team sends the right signals. Even the best talents are interested in Everton: we might not pay top dollar but we have a pathway to the first team.

“If we can buy those kids and integrate them with our own youngsters of quality, it’s a potent mix. You get their energy and vitality and then you put Gana in there, Schneiderlin, Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Ash. You just need a few more pieces and then you’ve got a top-four side.” Why, given the policy, covet Wayne Rooney then? It appears Koeman feels Rooney could elevate the whole team and help the kids through his ability and winning mentality. Rooney would have to take something like a 50% pay cut but the hope is that romance will prevail over money-making when Rooney chooses his next club after United.

“He didn’t leap to China [in January],” Walsh says. “The only person this can be driven by is Wayne and how much he wants to come back to Everton. He’s a top player. If the opportunity arose to bring him back, and it sat well with everyone, I’d drive over myself and get him.”

Of course, he would have to go and watch Rooney first. Walsh laughs. “Yes, I suppose.” He never signs a player he hasn’t seen himself live. For him, stats are important — they played their part at Leicester and he has brought in Laurence Stewart, who held similar roles with England and Manchester City, as Everton’s senior recruitment coordinator, promoting Dan Purdy to technical scout.

But stats “just back up your gut feeling.. All scouting does is minimise the risk. Until players go out and integrate on the training pitch, then put on that blue shirt for real, you’re never sure.”

No exceptions. At Blackpool, Walsh did not let himself off the hook, and dutifully complied his own three lines on every player. “Let’s say my German scout comes to me and says, ‘Steve, this is what we’re looking for, I really feel this is the guy.’ At that stage I’ll go across and see them.

“At some point someone’s got to put their balls on the line and say, ‘This is the man for us.’ And that’s me.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton
Sky Sports 1, 1.30pm

Walsh’s top ten transfers

When Leicester won the title their regular starting XI cost just £22m – and all, bar Kasper Schmeichel, were recruited by Walsh. Here are his best 10 signings:

N’Golo Kante (£5.2m)
Probably the best player in the Premier League for the last two seasons. Arrived as an unknown from Caen and Walsh had to ‘beg’ Claudio Ranieri to agree the transfer
Jamie Vardy (£1m) Many thought Leicester crazy when they spent a seven-figure sum on a mature striker at Fleetwood. But he clicked and the rest is history
Riyad Mahrez (£350,000) Walsh made the trip to French second-tier club, Le Havre, to watch another winger but found himself besotted by Mahrez
Esteban Cambiasso (free) Securing a Champions League winner with Inter Milan for a newly-promoted provincial team was some coup back in 2014. Extensive stats analysis showed the 34-year-old would still have enough in the tank for the Premier League.
Idrissa Gueye (£7m) Walsh had Gueye, then at Villa, earmarked to eplace Kante at Leicester but left just in time to take Gueye to Everton instead. The leading player in Europe for tackles and interceptions
Wes Morgan (£1m) Walsh’s first signing for Leicester and one crucial to their development, Morgan was an outstanding performer in the Championship with Notts Forest and was brought in to help gain promotion to the top tier. By 2016, he was captain of a title-winning club
Danny Drinkwater (£800,000) Cordial links to Man Utd has allowed Walsh to sign several young ex-United players, with Leicester’s Drinkwater the jewel
Robert Huth (£3m) Having worked with Huth at Chelsea he knew the German’s character and moved in when Huth fell out of the reckoning at Stoke. ‘A fantastic lamppost for us last season,’ Walsh says.
Christian Fuchs (free) Good scouting and clever playing of the Bosman market allowed Leicester to pick up Fuchs for free from Schalke – not bad given he was an international captain who had played Champions League football
Ademola Lookman (£7.5m) Like Vardy, Lookman, now at Everton, started in non-League. Walsh believes that has helped in bringing some unorthodoxy to his game. ‘Ademola is the future,’ says Walsh, who first saw him at Charlton


TEF Member
Don't think Kante "primary" agent will be happy reading that!


TEF Member
That interview should be enough to tell anyone still doubting just how big of a signing Walsh is.


TEF Member
I know Koeman is taking stick and rightly so but surely Walsh has to burden some of the blame too?Not all buys have been Koeman's in fact what I've heard the majority has been his.
I know Koeman is taking stick and rightly so but surely Walsh has to burden some of the blame too?Not all buys have been Koeman's in fact what I've heard the majority has been his.
He surely has to take some blame but I'm not having that Stek, Martina, Schneiderlin, Klassen, Sigurdsson and Bolasie (Wrd said Koeman loved him as soon as he got the job and long before we were linked) are Walsh's, they must be Koemans'.

I also refuse to write off all the signings just yet. They're leaderless, they haven't got a clue what they are expected to do. They are like a rudderless ship just floating about.
I don't care who's to blame the fact we ended that window with no experienced recognised striker is disgraceful. However, Walsh doesn't send the teams out to play in whatever formation Koeman has a hardon for every week.
I know Koeman is taking stick and rightly so but surely Walsh has to burden some of the blame too?Not all buys have been Koeman's in fact what I've heard the majority has been his.
Are they all bad players mate? Id say the likes of Klaassen, Sigurdsson etc are very good players but being managed horrifically. Steve Walsh hasn't signed shite has he really? I do agree he could probably take some blame due to the whole striker saga, but he hasn't given Koeman duds to work with, he's given him very good players.


TEF Member
Are they all bad players mate? Id say the likes of Klaassen, Sigurdsson etc are very good players but being managed horrifically. Steve Walsh hasn't signed shite has he really? I do agree he could probably take some blame due to the whole striker saga, but he hasn't given Koeman duds to work with, he's given him very good players.
That squad really lacked pace and it wasn't addressed Mart, and what pace we do have is sitting on the bench. They gave Mirallas a new contract not long ago and refuse to play him. They could of let go back to Greece and we refused. What are we keeping him for ? makes no sense to me.


Global Moderator
Squad lacking pace = potentially/probably Walsh. What pace we have sat on the bench = Koeman.
Mirallas new coract = Board (Walsh?). Not playing Mirallas = Koeman.
Blame seems shared to me & there seems to be a lack of communication/difference of opinion behind the scenes, but what we see ont he pitch is down to the manager. He has to play the hand at his disposal.
I know Koeman is taking stick and rightly so but surely Walsh has to burden some of the blame too?Not all buys have been Koeman's in fact what I've heard the majority has been his.
I said to snoop when he got the job I don't think he was all he's built up to be and I don't think anyone who was involved in football would have given him the job. Moshiri saw Arsenal struggle with Wenger once they lost David Dein and they'd flirted with Walsh but I don't think anyone with a knowledge of transfers and the ins and outs of footy would have appointed steve Walsh .

I'm not saying he hasn't spotted and can't spot a player but he brings baggage , I think Everton ended up because of the baggage second guessing Walsh . We've got , as always really , too many people looking at too much in the way of transfers . i don't believe Koeman and I don't believe Kenwright trust Walsh and I'll be honest I don't blame them.
We've bought attacking players with pace for the U23's. My suspicion is Walsh and Unsworth work closer than him and Koeman.
Regardless of who brought who in, it's down to the manager to get them playing in a cohesive manner, IMO.

Any signings will have been a joint effort where a DoF is involved, though, surely?

IE - one will identify a target and run it by the other? Or the manager will say, I want to play like 'this' and they'll work together to identify the best player for the role(s) advocated?

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)