Apart from a freak 4-0 win against Manchester City last season and November's 4-0 victory against West Ham (who were the worst team by far in the Premier League at the time — and could easily have whipped us if they'd had the run of the ball and a bit of luck), can any of you truthfully remember any other notable game in the whole of the last two seasons?
You know, like when we played the opposition off the park, overcame them by masterful tactics, ground them to defeat through sheer energy and willpower, out-thought them and clinically took our chances or simply dominated from kick-off to final whistle?
No. Neither can I.
This club is in a malaise from top to bottom, with mediocrity the new byword and avoiding defeat the sole objective. It astounds non-Evertonian friends when I tell them we have been THE worst team in the division for all that time. Despite there being 12 teams below us, we all know too well that we have been.
Within minutes of every game commencing, it has been clear that we were in for another 90 minutes of aimless, brainless, clueless, spineless, turgid football (I use that last word advisedly). Without exception, we have been woeful. Devoid of leadership. Tactically inept. Incapable of learning. Drained of adventure.
Virtually every win has been as a result of one or two players having a randomly fortuitous run of the ball and a moment or two of coincidental good fortune.
We only have to suffer England bumbling and fumbling their way through 90 minutes three or four times a year. Pity us poor Evertonians who have to put up with that 38 times (not to mention the inevitable tame capitulations in the cup competitions).
A complete top-to-bottom overhaul of personnel, a re-affirmation of ambition, and an uncompromising, ruthless, single-minded, unsentimental approach are desperately needed for the new season. Reshuffling the deckchairs and Kenwright bringing in another fading former favourite has got to end. I have supported him in the past and still admire him as a gentleman ambassador for our club. But he needs to go, now. Along with Elstone, Allardyce and Mr Rooney.
Having one key role filled by someone inadequate would be bad enough. We have the full set: chairman, chief executive, manager and so-called 'star' player. Time is up for all of them. Time is up too for the likes of Williams, Martina, Besic, Bolasie, Schneiderlin and a few others who clearly aren't good enough or have a 'second best will do' mentality.
This is now Lookman's time, Calvert-Lewin's time, Dowell's time, Pickford's time, Coleman's time, Sigurdsson's time, Tosun's time, Davies's time, Walcott's time... quality new signings' time — and hopefully even the likes of Keane's and Funes Mori's time. Baines and Jagielka have shown they are still worth a locker key too for another season.
All need to be driven and insipred by a man at the top for whom winning is the sole priority. A manager who wants to do so every game, not play percentages in the hope of scraping 7th ahead of Burnley. In charge of players who are individually and collectively obsessed to be the best and who will not accept anything less from any of their teammates.
We have reached a critical tipping point and this could be our last chance to turn the six clubs with ambition into seven. If we do not, this time, right now, we could be set for another 25 years — or more — of being also-rans.
Reader Comments (36)
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1 Posted 12/05/2018 at 07:44:12
This season has been a disaster. Its been one of the worst seasons ever for me. But the worst team? No, not even close. This is a decent team, bereft of leadership, tactics and coaching. Its crying out for new leadership and new direction and this team can claim 6th with a little surgery.
If you ever think this team is the worst, remind yourself of Paul Gerrard, Alec Cleland, Claus Thompson, Mark Tiler, Mitch Ward, Scott Gemmil, Mark pembridge, John Spencer, Mick Madar, and Joe Max Moore. And thats just the shite off the top of my head from the 90s. This team is far better than the best players from those dark dark days.
2 Posted 12/05/2018 at 08:09:46
Sounds good on paper, I hope we have the resolve and patience to bring it off.
Fasten seat belts sign could be flashing frequently, enjoy the ride...
3 Posted 12/05/2018 at 08:32:19
Our finances are now stable, and I trust that Mr Moshiri will rectify things but it definitely will not happen next season. Next season is one of transition and we need to be patient. .Things ain't so bad off the pitch that it should distract the players from giving their all, that has been the worst thing for me, some of them have just appeared .well . disinterested. Now, that is bad.
4 Posted 12/05/2018 at 08:42:59
As David says, the odd good player run and an off day for the opposition were the limit of Everton's ambition to win. Hence the years of aimless hope, which has Everton in the position it is now in. A widely considered hopeless case, laughing stock and farce for media fodder.
What is needed is a complete overhaul as part of a 5-year building plan. End the Circus now.
5 Posted 12/05/2018 at 09:37:52
6 Posted 12/05/2018 at 09:47:09
7 Posted 12/05/2018 at 10:15:48
8 Posted 12/05/2018 at 10:26:18
Roll on the season and the only thing thats shocked me (bar the loss of a striker who could score) is how hard work we made standing still - missed with appalling tactics/line-ups by Koeman, no blame to Rhino as he barely stood in, and honestly, while I never liked Sam, his style, or honestly believed we would be relegated - one thing was clear.
This was going to be a wasted opportunity of a season to build experience and challenge for those higher positions.
I agree with most of the above. There have been worse periods and squads. We need to make the right decision, the right purchases (unlike the last close-season) and we need to push on. We will NOT, regardless of who we sign, manager or player - finish higher than 6th because once again there will be 6 more experienced and better paid squads above us; what we need to do is develop, over time, with the right structure - this is not going to happen overnight.
A good manager, with a vision or a plan, that suits fans expectations, and a chairman that will back him will be a start - then maybe a bit of togetherness and support from a united fan base; only then can we start moving forward.
9 Posted 12/05/2018 at 10:34:40
10 Posted 12/05/2018 at 10:57:20
Rest of that season we were crap, mind you, and they bollocked us in the return match at Goodison.
11 Posted 12/05/2018 at 11:04:17
12 Posted 12/05/2018 at 11:08:19
13 Posted 12/05/2018 at 11:58:53
“There is a reason why this club has a storied 140 year history...stop navel gazing and put your faith in 140 years of a club that defines English Football...it is bigger than all of us and will outlast any short term challenge.”
IF the owners and board can follow Dan's advice we'll be fine!
14 Posted 12/05/2018 at 12:15:34
15 Posted 12/05/2018 at 12:32:39
He does not want to come back to Everton under any circumstances. He sees it as a bad career move. He is not going to change his mind, having had his assessment of the necessity of career move to Leipzig, against opposition at Everton, proved right.
I don't think he is that stupid.
17 Posted 12/05/2018 at 12:53:32
Steve, we nearly ran United, into sixth? David is talking about the football being boring, so I'm not sure how you or anyone else, could really disagree with that?
Maybe I'm wrong? But if Koeman, stopped me going to away games, then Allardyce has took it to the next level, and I haven't even been bothered about going to Goodison Pk, recently either.
18 Posted 12/05/2018 at 12:57:50
Returning to parallels with past times, does anyone remember Alex Nyarko starting out looking like a beast of a player, but after a few months in the Archie Knox boot camp the man was bereft. A bit of a Schneiderlin scenario?
19 Posted 12/05/2018 at 13:02:27
We know Earl is leaving, Bill is supposed to be riding off into the Sunset in August, and Jon Woods shares are apparently being bought by Moshiri. A strong presence from outside the club is required to stop all the sentimentalist crap of filling the place with past players, and the 'old school tie brigade'. In other words, those who 'Get Everton'. Anyone who 'Gets Everton' in the past 20 years is more than likely a serial loser happy to watch shite in a crap stadium rapidly becoming devoid of any atmosphere at all.
Lets get a knowledgeable CEO, a director of Football, and a coach capable of driving us on, skilled in man management.
Blue Sky thinking, or dark clouds are ahead. Over to you Farhad, please don't let us down.
20 Posted 12/05/2018 at 13:04:37
22 Posted 12/05/2018 at 13:31:32
It's true that for too long now we have been subjected to unacceptable performances, I have considered for a couple of seasons, that teams who visit Goodison are quicker in thought and movement, and while I admit that this season had me worried as early as October, I still take issue with the title of your article.
We've had a couple of close shaves in more recent times, Wimbledon 1993-94 and Coventry City 1997-98. Now, either of those seasons could have been viewed as a bad time.
I agree that the football served up this season ranks with some of the worst we have witnessed for decades, I appreciate that you may feel that I'm nit-picking regarding the title of your article, but I must confess that I agree with most of your observations.
23 Posted 12/05/2018 at 13:33:53
24 Posted 12/05/2018 at 14:01:33
Martinez got his first window spot on. He did it late, but he managed it and pretty much added exactly what we needed where we needed it. I remember the summer Moyes took Lescott and the like. They were all spot on and we really improved. We badly need that kind of window.
This time round, 3 or 4 - no more than that there's been too much flux - spot on signings in the positions we need them can get us progressing again.
Despite all the cash that's been spent I think the entire spine of the side needs addressing. For me, a strong, pacey center back and pacey striker are a priority. Sorting the lack of pace front and back would go a long way to changing the way we play. I feel we are weak and a bit of a soft touch in mid and would advocate getting some legs and physicality in there, although we could maybe get away without signing someone. It largely depends on who goes. The other signing would be the absolute necessity of a long term left back
I feel if we can get those 3 or 4 signings right, and other players can kick on - I'm thinking Vlasic, Lookman, Keane (hmmmm), theres more in Sig, Tosun settles in etc - then we will be ok.
Get them wrong, or just make more sub-standard signings, and the bottom half beckons as the failure rate stacks up. For example, if we get the next center back wrong then we have a big problem as it will be the fourth one on the bounce after Funes Mori, Williams, and Keane.
25 Posted 12/05/2018 at 14:41:46
We HAVE been the worst team in the division, by some considerable distance. have been for some time
We've spent about 300m during the time you speak about and for that money we were able to get individuals like Rooney and Sigurdsson. Whilst Rooney was well past his best and Sigurdsson is well short of being top notch, They were both easily good enough to get goals which have masked over the most soul destroying anti football I've ever seen.
Lets not forget that we were going backwards again this season until Sam was able to splash out 50m quid on Tosun And Walcott, something no other team in "our league" could afford to do. These two are nowhere near top notch either, but once again they were good enough to put in the occasional performance, their individual efforts and goals were enough to mask still more woefully inept performances.
Virtually every game last season depended upon whether or not Lukaku was in the mood, if he turned up, we got ugly football and goals, if he didn't, we were left with the ugly football.
I laughed when people said we need managers like Koeman or Allardyce to attract players, but I'm not laughing now, it depresses me when I hear the same utterances again about the latest flavours of the month.
Most people outside this club see the start of the Everton game as the end of MOTD. We are the dullest, the greyest, the least watchable.
People talk about moving to the "next level" but we haven't had a team which could string 3-4 meaningful passes together for years. Our standing in the game diminishes with every passing game spoiler at the helm.
We have to get to the next level before we can even think about getting to the "next level" .
26 Posted 12/05/2018 at 22:40:39
The teams below us gave been often poor but sometimes bloody good. We have been pretty much mediocre every game and we have been incredibly lucky. We have spent more money and have better players than the teams below us, yet we are one dimensional, negative, fearful dull, uninspired, boring and devoid of passion.
In the combination of money spent, expectation, endeavour and sheer utter shite this is the worst ever. The appointment of Allardyce and the idea that we have let him and his appalling bunch of mercenaries actually run our club is a stain on our history. Allardyce didn't save us. We stayed up and he happened to be there, bleeding us dry.
27 Posted 12/05/2018 at 23:22:32
It shows me that the pre-Premier League football I used to love is unlikely to ever return whilst absolute no-marks are paid £20k per week (£1million per year) regardless of performance or results, unless relegation actually seems likely right at the death, when their selfishness comes in on cue as they desperately fight to sustain their gravy-train lives by actually trying to win a game or two.
It gives me no pleasure to say it but in the event of us being in the bottom third whilst the current squad is in residence at FF I have very little confidence that we have enough characters in it to even match those journeymen playing for the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton and, too late admittedly, WBA, never mind WHU and the Saints.
That's the first test for Moshiri, his pocket, and his allegedly new manager - sort the wheat from the chaff at FF.
28 Posted 13/05/2018 at 00:33:13
Allardyce's position is looking increasingly untenable (even he knows he will not be here next season), Rooney's off to kiss a badge in America, Brands rumoured to be on his way, Moshiri buying Woods' shares, talk of Kenwright's departure gathering pace, Esltone off to find his true level in Rugby League, and Silva/Fonseca in a two-horse race for the manager's job?
Like something out of The Godfather, could it be that Moshiri is getting everything in place for a major footballing coup d'état in the next week or so?
If so, Moshiri will come out of the shadows and show he means business.
Imagine the tsunami of energy and momentum that would swiftly follow.
Could this, at last, be the crest of that wave we have all been waiting for?
29 Posted 13/05/2018 at 01:27:41
Rooney has said his goodbyes to his teamates according to various reports and, as far as I can see on here and elsewhere, most fans don't think it is such a bad thing for both parties but The Mail reports:
Despite instigating a possible move away from Everton — it is understood owner Farhad Moshiri authorised approaches by club officials to both DC United and clubs in China — there is now the distinct possibility Rooney will be asked to remain on Merseyside next season.
While Moshiri wanted to free up the cash spent on Rooney in wages — Everton pay £150,000 a week with Manchester United paying the difference on the £15m-a-year deal that has another year to run at Old Trafford — chairman Bill Kenwright is convinced that allowing Rooney to leave is a bad idea.
Indeed Kenwright has now created enough anxiety among directors to make them reconsider.
Then we have the contradictory stories surrounding the fate of the not so liked Mr Allardyce. Several outlets seem to think it's a forgone conclusion that he will be sacked next week and others seem to believe he will be given the green light to re-shape the squad. The Mirror seem to be offering up a different story everyday that supports both views.
“My job as always is to get better players because then we get better results and we will play more attractive football. You can only deal with the tools and players you have at the time.
“You just can't magic something overnight when you walk into a struggling club. You can't get two magic wands and say we're going to play like Manchester City.
“It's impossible. If you're asking the impossible, it's never going to be achieved.”
Allardyce insists that he has met the first criteria of his appointment – to stave off relegation – and believes he should now be backed to continue the club's resurrection.
He added: “I didn't leave retirement to come into this football club just to save it. I could have stayed retired because I've done all that.
“I came here to try to take the football club into a new stadium and try and build a team that can fight for the European places.
“That's what this club demands.
Whatever unfolds in the next seven days, I do hope the club realises that allowing the media to control the narrative is a very bad idea, it causes unrest amongst the supporters, it doesn't help the players and it serves no good purpose except for the media outlets who can write what they want, when they want. Obviously the owners/board can't control the media but it should be more pro-active in stating what direction it is taking. For too long we have appeared nothing more than a lunch-time soap-opera, no plot, full of hot-air, none of the main actors know their roles and the support staff are running round in circles trying to make sense of the poorly written script.
All this from a club that is very close to earning nearly a Billion pounds in prize money from the Premier League cash-cow since its inception, but you would be forgiven if you believed that the club was newly arrived on the big stage and was paying dearly for its naivety.
30 Posted 13/05/2018 at 10:45:45
How dare Allardyce disguise his criticism of the style expected (the School of Science). What's the saying? – a bad workman blames his tools? Latest quotes blaming the players he has.
31 Posted 13/05/2018 at 17:37:19
There are actually 10 or more worse sides in this league than us, even when we have a nightmare.
Now surely that's got to cheer you up?
Premier League - best league in the world the TV people tell us.
I beg to differ.
32 Posted 13/05/2018 at 18:29:36
We have bad seasons and managers before but, this season with all the extensive media coverage it gets highlighted. I don't believe the board "will not" listen to the supporters comments, and it will mean that the present manager should be gone before the next weekend. We need a younger manager that will bring in fresh ideas, be ruthless in assessing the playing squad and plan for the future.
As supporters we have to expect that next season will be difficult
and give the manager full support. Keep letting the owner and board aware that we will not put up with anther season like the last, and let them understand that it is the paying fans who have kept this club going ever since it started and, even the most dedicated fan can only stand so much before he stops going.
Mr Moshiri you are a successful business man that has made you financially sound but in investing in Everton you are now in the entertainment business and that needs your clubs fans to be entertained, and if this doesn't happen ,you will be into a business that will drain your investment quickly. Act swiftly as I do not believe you want your investment to go down the drain.
33 Posted 13/05/2018 at 21:05:15
The thing about this team is the huge gap between the team on paper and the quality they produce. There's no top-notchers in there, but there's enough half-decent players to entertain us, get us off our seats, make 7th place ours by right and run close a moribund Arsenal team that will again be in a state of flux next season.
That's what I was expecting this season and we got none of it. The one thing we've proved this season is that it's not just about money. We've got club management relieved at hitting the giddy heights of eighth. A coach telling us we can't expect good football with these players.
All I'm asking this summer is that we put cuddly old Everton in a box and bury it. Have the club act like it wants to do the hard work that bring success. Hire people who know their methods work and believe in the players they buy and work with.
It's got to be the club management first. Otherwise the next coach will be shunting between Moshiri, Kenwright, Walsh and who knows else.
Early this season, Koeman was asked what a good finish would be. He said 'same as last year.' It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I couldn't see us higher than 6th. It was the absence of any other ambition that bothered me, as if Koeman had either been found out or had imploded at the shambles behind him.
I know we won't blitz the top four in the next year. I also know that if these existing players, with two or three additions, play with belief, energy and clearly explained methods, we could start building a bit of momentum and enjoy watching the team again.
This summer's all about sorting out who/what we want to be, then the right recruitment, on and off the pitch.
34 Posted 14/05/2018 at 08:53:18
EITC, is great in its commitment and compassion to the community, but the at least the same and more energy and focus must be on the football side of the club.
Get the board right and get the football coaching side right. What is right, is the question but what weve suffered for the last 30 years must be ended.
Theres been plenty of ale house played and team at GP in the last 50 years but the last 4 years has been the pits. The team has lost its ID and physchologically is impacted and has an acute inferiority complex and loosing mentality.
If the club doesnt act immediately then next season will be just as bad. Im not losing my religion yet supporting EFC, but the belief and expectation is waning and zero.
They dont provide entertainment and you can count on 4 fingers the decent games the last 4 years.
Sick of seeing and hearing 5he plaudits of the RS exploits this season, but its a reality check and if th3 club doesnt arrest this lack of interest in building a winning club, we will be the “no marks”.
Nows the time for FM to start the rebuild of the club.
35 Posted 15/05/2018 at 09:10:15
I've supported the blues since 1963 home and away and have had some brilliant times and unfortunately more bad.
However the current predicament we are in simply defies belief. Football to me is a simple game, pass,move, back your mates on the pitch, play with total commitment and give every ounce of effort to the shirt and results and success will come. ( The fabulous teams of the 70's and mid 80's show what is achievable.)
Accountability and honesty are a bygone trait replaced with greed, selfishness and what appears utter contempt for the club and the fans who support through thick and thin.
I am sick and tired of bang average players taking 'turns' to 'apologise for their pathetic efforts week in and week out and managers Koeman and latterly Sam 'I'm the man' blaming everyone and everything but themselves. I fully expect Sam 'I'm the man' will lay blame to our latest abysmal capitulation to West Ham by blaming the lack of..or the 'wrong chewing gum' anything but himself!
I would love the opportunity for true evertonians to be allowed to attend press conferences and actually put these players, managers and board members on the spot and not pussy foot around them in fear of bull shit Bill banning them from drinks and nibbles afterwards.
The club I love lacks backbone and a desire to sweat blood for the fans who support through thick and thin...oh for a Labone, Ball,Reid or Ratcliffe to lay it on our current pampered pets that total commitment is a minimum requirement followed by pride, effort and a steely determination to win for the shirt, the fans and my beloved Everton.
Moshiri is not a fool however he needs to step out of his new ivory tower in the Liver buildings, ignore his gaggle of hand wringing bowing yes men (the Kings new clothes always comes to mind.) He needs to meet, gather a number of true down to earth fans who can explain to him our history, feelings of constant betrayal and listen to their humble opinion of what is needed to turn our one and only football club back into the team to be chest bursting proud of and who we support with our hearts, mind, soul and passion.
36 Posted 15/05/2018 at 09:37:42
Peter Reid wouldn't have been able to kick a ball in this squad, he'd have been too busy kicking the arses of the useless crowd around him.
37 Posted 15/05/2018 at 09:54:46
It leads to the most boring type of football possible. Passing sideways and back at a snails pace. Wrong formations, players being played out of position etc.
I know it will probably cost us plenty, but we need a proper attacking creative midfielder. Even something as simple as a left sided midfielder aka SP. We haven't put out a balanced side in ages.
38 Posted 16/05/2018 at 22:14:52
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