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It will take more than director Marcel Brands’ departure to bring about real change at Everton

DOMINIC KING: Marcel Brands is considered by some to be the sacrificial lamb, but it takes more than a director leaving to make real change at Everton

  • Joy and relief flooded Goodison Park when Everton finally won a game
  • Rafael Benitez’s team turned things around and won 2-1 against Arsenal on Monday
  • But this is still a club in turmoil after football director Marcel Brands resigned
  • However, it takes more than Brands’ departure to bring real change to the club
  • Everton need the faith and spirit they showed against the Gunners to improve


Buried in the statement, released around midnight on Sunday, were some words from Marcel Brands that shone light on Everton’s distraught condition.

Brands is regarded in some circles as the sacrificial lamb, the man who had to carry the tin for the disorder and alarming lack of progress. What the outgoing football director emphasized, however, were the fissures within Goodison Park.

“This decision took some time and some consideration and was one of the hardest I’ve encountered in my career,” Brands said. “The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction of this great club and with that in mind the decision has been made.”

Outgoing Everton football director Marcel Brands is seen by some as the sacrificial lamb for the club’s failings, but it will take more than his departure to bring about real change

This was not a layoff. Brands was not altruistic in walking away, but he had reached the point where he had reached the end of his chain.

Everton, in the years of Farhad Moshiri, does that to people, the chaos and unpredictability that make progress impossible.

If Arsenal’s visit were some sort of fresh start for everyone involved at Everton, the sobering reality was more of the same and a reminder that it will take more than the director of football to step down to bring about change.

The first half of this match told you all about the current state of the team. Yes, they were unhappy to see Richarlison get a goal from the VAR, but everything else they produced in the mood was as filthy and distasteful as the elements.

Toffees supporters have vocally criticized the club chiefs after a terrible run

Toffees supporters have vocally criticized the club chiefs after a terrible run

Midway through those first 45 minutes, there was a point where Rafa Benitez looked at his team with one hand on his head and seemed puzzled to the point of distraction at how he could make the adjustments that would benefit a limited Arsenal squad.

Moshiri, the Iranian billionaire, is confident that Benitez will make the necessary improvements in the coming seasons to transform Everton’s fortunes, but to reach the level the owner wants, the Spaniard will have to be a wizard.

Maybe he is. There is something about Goodison Park that terrifies Arsenal’s life and always has been, even when Arsene Wenger was said to bring one of the best Premier League teams here ever.

Wayne Rooney announced himself in this match in October 2002, Romelu Lukaku trampled them in April 2014 and there was a dizzying night during Ronald Koeman’s reign in December 2016 when Everton won against all odds.

Everton finally won on Monday night and they will need some of that conviction to improve things

Everton finally won on Monday night and they will need some of that conviction to improve things

For a long time those occasions seemed like distant memories, but then you reminded yourself that this Arsenal squad is a pale shadow of what has happened before and you also told yourself that Benitez is a manager with a lucky knack for making things happen.

These are the kinds of games that Moshiri, formerly involved with Arsenal, wanted Everton to shine, but that’s now as far away as ever since he made his massive investment in the club in February 2016.

Brands is gone, there are likely to be more changes around the club in the near future, but all this turmoil is leaving the spirit that made Everton different.

It is only possible in life to make progress if you all work together. Only when Everton does that will the change really start.

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