i'm slightly more inclined to look at brands for not having that conversation with unsworth at an earlier stage or at least making it explicit that the plan is to replicate the playing style of the first team - whatever that might currently be.
it could be brands is just crap (although past performance doesn't seem to suggest that), or that's just not assertive enough to fight the rest of them to get his way. it could be that he's being overridden constantly by those above meddling in his day-to-day. it could be that he's told unsie and was ignored, and has now leaked it to the press to make it more visible. it could be that the constant personnel changes have left him having to scrabble around focusing on other things to balance the books and try to work out what the hell is going on with the squad. it could be that he's had to utterly transform everything that we *can't* see to even get to this point.
nobody knows what's really going on behind the scenes, though. looking in from the outside, there's plenty of evidence that something is wrong somewhere. the things i think we can probably pin on him are recruitment issues - not finding a right-back, value-less players on long and expensive contracts, not using the january window well enough, that sort of thing. but even on those there's a question of how often he's having players foisted on him by other people (moshiri, bill) and then having those unwanted expenditures block the recruitment for positions he really wants to make.
imo, what we need most is managerial stability coupled with sensible recruitment. we've been steadily pruning the deadwood out of the squad, and we have a few kids worth trying out. this summer, we should lose the one we can't talk about, tosun, delph, lonergan, and kenny (if not earlier than that in some cases). branthwaite is up this summer, too, but hopefully he'll extend along with the likes of dobbin. in some ways, convincing the younger players to extend their contracts is the most important thing brands can do at this stage.
after them, there's probably really only the likes of gomes, iwobi, rondon, and gbamin who have a bit longer on their contracts that we'd want to prioritise shifting out if we can find a buyer for them. at that point, it's a case of upgrading on what we have - prioritising on replacing the older players (e.g. coleman, allan, townsend) and those where we know we need upgrades.