Neville Southall: Everton have been buying Fiat Pandas instead of Rolls-Royces

Club great Southall has attacked the policy which he believes has primarily brought in sub-standard players.
Neville Southall: Everton have been buying Fiat Pandas instead of Rolls-Royces

By Carl Markham, PA

Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has likened the club’s transfer business to buying Fiat Pandas instead of Rolls-Royces.

Recruitment has been a consistent issue during Farhad Moshiri’s near-six-year ownership, with more than half-a-billion pounds spent to leave the club arguably in a worse position than when he took over.

Everton have experimented with two directors of football in Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands and both are considered to have failed, while they are looking for their seventh permanent manager under Moshiri after Rafael Benitez was sacked on Sunday.

And club great Southall has attacked the policy which he believes has primarily brought in sub-standard players.

“If I had the money, I’d rather buy a Rolls-Royce than a Fiat Panda but we’re buying Fiat Pandas,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“That’s no disrespect to them because the lads who are coming in are trying but at the end of the day you’ve got to buy quality.

“We need to make sure we don’t get people sneaking through the door that can’t run, can’t jump or if it’s a windy day you can’t play him because he falls over.

“I think Marcel Brands was horrendous. I honestly believe he did a disservice to Everton, I don’t think he was any good. Some of the players that he brought in, if you slammed a door they fell over, they were that weak.”

Southall believes the club is coasting towards the opening of their new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium in 2024.

“Do we just want to make do and mend until we go to the new ground or actually move there with a chance of winning things?” he added.

“The owner has got to value the club at more than that. They’ve got to value Everton as much as the fans…their ambition doesn’t seem to be matched by anyone else at the club.

“The benchmark has to be when recruiting ‘Is this player going to win us the league?’. If it’s ‘no’ then don’t sign him. You can’t go short-term any more. What’s the point in signing some nugget who is not going to win you the league?”

The transfer window may still be open but due to the upheaval behind the scenes the club does not currently have a manager, director of football, head of recruitment or a chief of scouting – all dispensed with in the last six weeks.

Assistant manager Duncan Ferguson, part of the coaching staff since 2014, is the only senior member of staff to survive the cull which saw Benitez’s four-man backroom team dismissed on Monday and has been placed in caretaker charge.

The club are in the process of finalising a shortlist for the job on a permanent basis with Belgium coach and former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, Derby’s ex-Everton striker Wayne Rooney, former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and the Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira, who was previously in contention before the club appointed Benitez’s predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, among the contenders.

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