DOMINIC KING: Marcel Brands is being regarded by some as the sacrificial lamb but it will take more than a director leaving to bring about real change at Everton
- Joy and relief washed around Goodison Park as Everton finally won a match
- Rafael Benitez’ side turned things around to win 2-1 against Arsenal on Monday
- But this is still a club in turmoil after director of football Marcel Brands resigned
- However it will take more than Brands’ departure to bring real change at the club
- Everton need the belief and spirit they showed against the Gunners to improve
Buried in the statement, released close to midnight on Sunday, were some words from Marcel Brands that shone a light on Everton’s muddled state.
Brands is being regarded in some quarters as the sacrificial lamb, the man who had to carry the can for the disorder and alarming lack of progress. What the outgoing Director of Football highlighted, however, were the chasms within Goodison Park.
‘This decision has taken some time and some consideration and was one of the most difficult I have faced in my career,’ said Brands. ‘The Board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club and, with that in mind, the decision was taken.’
Outgoing Everton director of football Marcel Brands is being viewed 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 no sacking. Brands was not being altruistic by walking away but he had got to the point where he had reached the end of his tether.
Everton, in the years of Farhad Moshiri, does that to people, the chaos and unpredictability making progress seem impossible.
If Arsenal’s visit was supposed to be some kind of fresh start for all concerned at Everton, the sobering reality was more of the same and a reminder that it will take more than the Director of Football to resign to bring about change.
The first half of this contest told you everything about the team’s current state. Yes, they were unfortunate to see Richarlison have a goal ruled out by VAR, but everything they else they produced in the squall was as scruffy and unappetizing as the elements.
Toffees supporters have been vocally critical of the club chiefs after a run of terrible form
There was a point, midway through those opening 45 minutes, when Rafa Benitez looked out at his team with a hand on his head and seemed puzzled to the point of distraction about how to make the tweaks that would take advantage of a limited Arsenal team.
Moshiri, the Iranian billionaire, has put his faith in Benitez conjuring the necessary improvement in the coming seasons to transform Everton’s fortunes but to get to the level that the owner wants, the Spaniard will have to be a magician.
Perhaps he is. There is something about Goodison Park that frightens the life out of Arsenal and it has always been that way, even in the days when Arsene Wenger would bring one of the finest teams the Premier League has ever seen here.
Wayne Rooney announced himself to the world in October 2002 in this fixture, Romelu Lukaku trampled all over them in April 2014 and there was a head-scrambling night in Ronald Koeman’s reign in December 2016 when Everton won against the odds.
Everton finally won on Monday night and they will need some of that belief to improve things
For long periods, those occasions seemed like distant memories but then you reminded yourself that this Arsenal squad is a pale shadow of what has gone before and you also told yourself that Benitez is a manager with a happy knack of making things happen.
These are the kind of fixtures Moshiri, who used to be involved with Arsenal, wanted to see Everton dazzle in but they are as far from doing that now as at any point since he made his huge investment into the club in February 2016.
Brands has gone, there are likely to be more changes around the club in the near future but all this turmoil is seeing the spirit that made Everton different disappear.
It’s only possible in life to progress when you are all pulling together. Only when Everton start doing that will change really begin.