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Marcel Brands joins Everton as Director of Football

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Everton announced Wednesday that Marcel Brands has joined from PSV as their new Director of Football.

Confirmation arrived from the Toffees on the same day that Sam Allardyce was fired as their manager after just six months in charge, and Brands will arrive to replace Steve Walsh as the Director of Football at Goodison Park.

Walsh arrived from Leicester City alongside former manager Ronald Koeman in the summer of 2016 but things soon turned soured as Everton’s player recruitment was nowhere near as successful as they’d hoped.

PSV say that Brands will move on from the Philips Stadion on June 1 after eight years with the Eredivisie club who won the league title three times (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18) during his leadership.

Brands has been applauded for his strong recruitment of exciting young players at PSV following his move from a similar role at RKC Waalwijk and AZ Alkmaar in the past.

“It is a privilege to be joining Everton as Director of Football and I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge,” Brands said. “The fantastic passion of the fans for their club, the magnificent history of the club over the years and the ambition and purpose we have as people tasked with driving the club forward all mean that we need to be competing for honors against the Premier League elite. It is no straightforward challenge but this must be our motivation each and every day.

“It is only a challenge such as this which could have persuaded me to leave PSV where I am indebted to the many people whose collective effort led to some great achievements. Now we will look to build something really strong and lasting here at Everton.”

Marco Silva is the overwhelming favorite to be appointed as Everton’s new manager in the coming days and his high-pressing tactics would definitely led to a dramatic squad overhaul at Everton.

Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri has chucked plenty of cash at this team and had a seventh and eighth place finish to show for it, with Everton laboring to eighth place this Premier League season under Allardyce after Koeman was fired in October after a disastrous start with his top-heavy squad.

Brands will be a busy man this summer.

Moyes, Allardyce out at West Ham, Everton

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Two managerial departures took place on Wednesday in the Premier League as David Moyes wasn’t handed a new deal at West Ham and Sam Allardyce was shown the door at Everton.

Fans of both clubs will be feeling slightly optimistic but there’s no hiding behind the fact that both West Ham and Everton have become anything but models of stability of recent years.

Moyes was only on a short-term deal at the Hammers after arriving in November and guiding them to safety after an intense relegation scrap. West Ham beat Everton 3-1 on the final day of the season to finish in 13th place on 42 points. But with plenty of unrest behind-the-scenes amid fan protests against the owners which sparked pitch invasions during the season, there are a lot of issues for West Ham’s hierarchy to sort out. Moyes’ reputation has been rebuilt somewhat after his debacle at Manchester United and Sunderland, so he may well be happy to move on.

West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan explained the decision for West Ham and Moyes going their separate ways.

“When David and his team arrived, it was the wish of both parties that the focus be only on the six months until the end of the season, at which point a decision would be made with regards to the future,” Sullivan said. “We feel that it is right to move in a different direction. We aim to appoint a high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days.”

Allardyce arrived at Everton in November and still had 12 months to run on his contract with the Toffees, with Big Sam dragging Everton out of a relegation battle (Ronald Koeman was sacked in October) and into eighth place in the table but a late charge for a Europa League spot faltered.

Despite that huge upturn in results, plus the likes of Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun arriving in January, Everton’s fans didn’t enjoy the direct style of play Allarydce preferred and often booed the manager and his tactical decisions. He was adamant until last week that he would be in charge next season but Everton’s owner Farhad Moshiri has listened to the fans as the Toffees are searching for a third manager in the space of eight months.

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale had the following to say on Big Sam’s departure.

“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that,” Barrett-Baxendale said. “However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.”

What is next for West Ham and Everton?

It has been reported that West Ham are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonesca, while Everton are said to be interested in bringing Marco Silva to Goodison.

The latter left Watford in January after he was initially linked with taking charge of Everton before Big Sam did, but the Hornets blocked the move and then Silva’s side slumped drastically as he was fired.

The Premier League managerial merry-go-round keeps spinning…

U.S. players in the 2017-18 Premier League

Daniel Hambury/PA via AP
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This post used to be more fun.

[ RECAP: Villa 0-0 (1-0 agg.) Boro ]

The United States only had three players hit Premier League pitches for more than a single match this season, and only two Americans are alive for promotion from the Championship (though well-traveled goalkeeper Chris Konopka signed a short-term deal late in Cardiff City’s promotion campaign).

Geoff Cameron
Stoke City

The soon-to-be 33-year-old had to be frustrated when his return from a concussion ended up with a stint on the bench under new coach Paul Lambert that cost him a chance to keep the Potters in the Premier League. Cameron played 20 league matches and one FA Cup match, spending time at center back, center mid, right back, and even a little more advanced as a right mid. Stoke was 3W-6D-8L when Cameron did not play, about the same pace as when he was available, but it notably earned points in four of six matches where he featured at center back (2-2-2). It seems likely he’ll move on this summer.

Cameron Carter-Vickers
Tottenham Hotspur

Went on loan to Sheffield United and then Ipswich Town, where he played regularly at center back. Still doesn’t seem on track to get in Mauricio Pochettino‘s mix, and another loan or permanent transfer feels on the horizon.

Emerson Hyndman
Bournemouth

The 22-year-old center mid played just four times in all comps for the Cherries, but Eddie Howe handed him a start in Bournemouth’s season finale. The Cherries won 2-1, though both goals came after he left the match. A candidate for transfer or loan next season.

Antonee Robinson
Everton

Went on loan to Bolton, where he managed four assists in substantial time at left back and left mid as the Trotters survived in the Championship. One of the great hopes to solve the long-held American need at left back.

Danny Williams
Huddersfield Town

There was a third very impactful American in the Premier League this year, and Huddersfield Town will be thankful that David Wagner brought fellow German-American international Williams to Town.

The 29-year-old played 20 league games and three Cup games with the Terriers, and was noticeably strong in his first season of top flight English football. Granted two of the wins came in substitute appearances, one at right back, but the center mid was good.

Terriers w/ Williams:  7W-5D-10L
Terriers w/o Williams: 2W-5D-9L

DeAndre Yedlin
Newcastle United

Soon to be 25, Yedlin had a strong return to the Premier League. The right back picked up two assists in 34 matches as Rafa Benitez really improved the American’s defensive acumen. Benitez would probably like to bring in better competition for Yedlin at right back, but the former Seattle Sounder should have every opportunity to continue to play a sizable role at St. James’ Park.

Elsewhere in England
Mix Diskerud – Man City (on loan at Goteborg)
Luca de la Torre – Fulham
Lynden Gooch – Sunderland
Duane Holmes – Scunthorpe United
Eric Lichaj – Nottingham Forest
Brendan Moore – Rochdale
Tim Ream – Fulham
Gedion Zelalem – Arsenal

Everton to let Allardyce go, chase Silva (again) as replacement

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Sam Allardyce did exactly what he was expected to do in his first — and probably final — six months as Everton manager: stabilize a wayward side and guide them as far away from the Premier League’s relegation zone as possible.

[ MORE: Grades for all 20 PL clubs ]

Following the Toffees’ eighth-place finish, Allardyce is expected to be rewarded compensated with a hefty severance package — the full $8 million remaining on the 18-month contract he signed upon taking charge in November — when he is relieved of his duties as Everton boss this week.

According to widespread reports out of the UK, Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s major shareholder, is expected to meet with Allardyce later this week at which point he’ll inform him that his services are no longer required at the club. Allardyce’s brash demeanor and defensive style quickly rubbed the Goodison Park faithful the wrong way despite the massive uptick in form which coincided with his arrival following Ronald Koeman‘s departure (and David Unsworth‘s month of interim work).

[ PL REVIEWS: Clubs 20-15 | Clubs 14-10 | Clubs 9-5 ]

Moshiri is expected to renew his pursuit of former Watford manager Marco Silva, whom he chased — to no avail — to replace Koeman in the fall. Relations between Everton and Watford soured quickly, as the Hornets claimed an “unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival” unsettled the Portuguese manager and played a part in his side’s sharp downturn in form — one win in 11 PL games — which resulted in his dismissal in January.

The future of Wayne Rooney is also expected to be discussed — and, perhaps decided — when Moshiri meets with Rooney and/or his agent this week. A report from the Washington Post indicated on Monday that Rooney and MLS side D.C. United were “inching closer” to an agreement.

West Ham 3-1 Everton: Lanzini, Arnautovic finish off Toffees

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Everton will head into the off-season on a down note as West Ham had the last laugh on the final day with a 3-1 win at the Olympic Stadium. Manuel Lanzini scored in the first half and Marko Arnautovic bagged one in the second half to give the Hammers the final three points of the season.

West Ham started well and had a spectacular early chance as Arnautovic played a brilliant one-two with Mark Noble to carve up the Everton defense, but Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a fabulous save to keep the latter out.

The Hammers were forced into an early change as Arthur Masuaku turned his ankle and was forced off, replaced in the 21st minute by Edmilison Fernandes. They worked another big opportunity as West Ham striker shot low five minutes later, and while he beat Pickford, he just barely beat the post as well.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Everton had its first big chance in the 32nd minute as West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna made a meal of a long-ball, leaving Everton striker Cenk Tosun clean through on goal, but Adrian made a fantastic save. West Ham had a handball shout near the end of the 1st half as Tosun tried to defend a low cross to the middle of the box, hitting his arm as he slid towards the ground, but the referee waved it off saying the incident was inadvertent and unavoidable.

The opener came seven minutes before the halftime break, one of the messier goals you’ll see. Chiek Kouyate spun in the middle third and looked to play Arnautovic in through the middle, but the pass threw Arnautovic for a loop and he was unable to control. Luckily, Lanzini was right there to latch onto the misplaced pass, and somehow the Everton defense suddenly appeared lost as Lanzini took the space given to him at the top of the box and fired a low shot past Pickford and tucked inside the right post for the game’s first goal. The strike was a deserved lead for the home side who had mostly dominated the opening frame.

[ MORE: Final Premier League standings ]

Everton had a bright start to the second half, having brought on Davy Klassen for Ramiro Funes Mori at the break. Sam Allardyce then brought Theo Walcott on at the hour mark in exchange for Tosun, who was visibly angry with coming off.

It made no difference, as West Ham went 2-0 up moments later on a fabulous goal by Arnautovic. He received the ball in space above the box, turned and shook Michael Keane, and fired into the to the top-right corner giving Pickford no chance. The Hammers had a third in the back of the net on 68 minutes, but on the Arnautovic free-kick, Aaron Cresswell was correctly judged to be offside as he headed home the goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Everton got one back in the 75th minute through Oumar Niasse on a corner as the ball pinged around the box, not cleared before it fell to Niasse at the near post for the striker to smash home for his eighth of the season. That would be as close as they get, because Lanzini grabbed another for West Ham to put it away. Against a pair of defenders, Lanzini cut inside on his right foot and fired a curler that Pickford could only get his fingertips to before it tucked inside the back of the net. Adrian made sure to protect the lead with an impressive double save with five minutes to go.

The win pushes West Ham up a number of spots on the final day, sitting them in 13th with 42 points. For Everton, they end the year with 49 points, enough for a top-half finish in eighth.