If the worst happens...

A brief assessment of what we might do with this squad in the Championship.

Sam Hoare 26/04/2022 82comments  |  Jump to last

This article is pre-emptive. Or perhaps it is self-therapy. Obviously this last weekend might have gone better (perhaps more in terms of Burnley's and Leeds’s result than ours) and most bookies now have us as the third favourite team to go down. I, myself, would rate our current chances at almost exactly 50/50. I’m certain there will be further twists and turns but there is no denying that the Championship is looking an increasingly likely destination.

I’ve no idea what the exact financial implications will be but obviously there will have to be a large amount of cost-cutting. I imagine the worst-case scenario is that we go into administration or that we suffer back-to-back relegations, like Sunderland did.

Hopefully, prudent squad-trimming and acquisition might help avoid either of those fates and so here is a brief (somewhat tired) assessment of what we might do with this squad in the Championship.

I’ve taken player wages mostly from Salarysport, which seem to look the most accurate I can find. Basically, I think we should be looking to shift any players on a salary over £60k per week with one or two possible exceptions. Obviously that is much easier said than done but clearly this is a (hopefully) very hypothetical piece anyway. I’m mainly looking for younger players who will work hard and are determined to prove themselves without being paid the world.


Pickford - I would not be that sad to lose the England man. He has admittedly done better over the last 18 months but he is still not nearly as good as his fans believe and statistically as a shot-stopper continues to be in the lower half of the table. Would anyone buy him? Perhaps someone like Spurs or Leicester (with ageing keepers) could be tempted. Perhaps we might get £20-25M. If so, I’d take it. Wages: £110k p/w. Sell

Begovic – The big Bosnian could probably do a job in the Championship, though he may be unwilling to accept a wage cut. He’s not on big wages though and unless we find a good replacement he may get the job. Wages: £43k p/w. Possibly Keep.

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Virginia and Lonergan - On low wages but neither will be first choice.

Replacements: If Pickford is sold, then there’s a decent chance we bring in a replacement. Sam Johnstone is out of contract at West Brom and could do a job. Or else we snap up one of the many decent keepers on the Continent, though perhaps it would be good to have someone who knows English football? Bazunu, Cakir, Costa, Rajkovic, Areola or Ettienne Green could all be interesting options who may or may not fancy a hopefully short stint in the Championship.


Patterson - If any player might benefit from our relegation, it could be the young Scot. He should be good enough to hold that right-back spot down and, if he can stat fit, he may hopefully become one of the best in the division, if not more. Wages: £28k p/w. Keep

Mykolenko – The Ukrainian has looked decent recently and should also excel at a lower level and really establish himself in the team. Wages: £58k p/w. Keep

Mina - Our best central defender as I see it. He would dominate the Championship (if fit) but is one of our highest earners and may possibly leave even if we stay up. Hopefully a European club might give us £20M for him. Wages: £120k p/w. Sell

Keane - Not an easy sell though a relatively effective defender for a low-block team, he could be of interest to West Ham, Brentford, Burnley or some such team around the £10M mark perhaps. Wages: £69k p/w. Sell

Holgate - Borderline for me. Has not covered himself in glory this season but then almost no-one has. He is relatively versatile and can cover at right-back or even in midfield in an emergency. His wage is not the highest and he has Championship experience. Given his age and the need for some continuity, I’d possibly keep him but he could equally well be replaced by a cheaper player. Wages: £64k p/w. Possibly Keep

Branthwaite - Another player who could well profit from our relegation. I have high hopes for this young player who looks a fantastic combination of tall, fast and assured on the ball. Is still not that experienced but should be good enough for a lot of game time in the Championship. Wages: £5.1k p/w. Keep

Godfrey – Has been disappointing this season but seems a hard worker and played 30-odd games for Norwich when they were promoted. He should excel there and helps us play a higher line. Wages: £68k p/w. Keep

Coleman – I’m not sure anyone else would buy the Irishman at this point or that he’d want to go. Perhaps he’s one of the few players who might agree to a wage cut? Ideally we’d shift him or end his contract because, as useful as he could be, we cannot afford to pay that wage for an elderly back-up right-back. Wages: £68k p/w. Sell

Kenny – The Championship is probably his level and, on very low wages, he offers a dependable back-up who will always give his all and can potentially play on either side. Probably worth keeping if we drop but not if we don’t. Wages: £15k p/w. Keep

Replacements: With the likes of Welch and Campbell looking decent for the U23s, we may be covered here. Perhaps we want to bring in a more experienced Championship defender. We would do extremely well to get Colwill on loan from Chelsea, who has been outstanding for Huddersfield this season. Worall, Souttar, Wharton and Ekpiteta have looked good there this year but would probably not be that cheap. There’s always good young centre-backs on the continent and we’d probably still be paying better wages than a lot of European teams, hopefully the new Director of Football can locate some cheap, hard-working players.


Delph - Could weirdly be quite useful if he stayed fit and was prepared to take a third of his wages but I can’t see that happening. Wages: £92k p/w. Sell or Let Leave

Gomes - Will be hard to shift but maybe Valencia or someone could be tempted? Probably we’d have to do a loan with wages subsidised. Wages: £120k p/w Sell or Loan Out

Allan – A good player who would be great but a high earner. Should hopefully be able to sell back to Italy or elsewhere for £10M or so. Wages: £120k p/w. Sell

Doucouré - Has been disappointing lately but a good box-to-box player at a decent age who would have suitors in the Premier League. He’d be dominant in the Championship but is high earning and a sellable asset. Should be able to get £15M. Wages: £120k p/w. Sell

Iwobi - Has arguably been our best player over the last month or so alongside Gordon. Energetic and creative in the middle. Some discrepancies about what his wages, with some saying £100k and some saying £50k. If the former is true, then he should be sold but, if the latter, then he could prove a useful asset, and he’s only 25. Wages: £50k or 100k p/w? Probably Sell

Gbamin – The Ivorian has been in decent form in Russia and already has four times more minutes in 3 months there than in 3 years with us. There’s a world in which he could be an impressive destroyer for us in the Championship and I’d love to see him finally excel in an Everton shirt. But equally we’d be crazy not to consider any decent offer. Wages £75k. Probably Sell

Davies – Has had bad luck with injury of late but at times looked decent under Ancelotti. Should be good enough to excel in the Championship. Though needs some pace around him. Wages: £32k p/w. Keep

Alli - We need fighters. Not for me. Sell him or let him go before we trigger the £10M transfer fee. Wages: £80k p/w. Sell

Sigurdsson - Gone, presumably.

Replacements: Lots of gaps here. Perhaps we have to keep one of Gbamin or Iwobi? Some decent youngsters in Price, Onyango and especially Warrington but I’m not sure we should rely too much on any of them. One player I’d love us to bring in is 23-year-old Lewis O’Brien from Huddersfield, a high energy dynamic player who can tackle and pass. He’s been excellent in the Championship this season but may fancy moving to a team where he should be a first-choice midfielder rather than bench-warming in the Premier League. John Buckley at Blackburn or out-of-contract John Swift could be other options. Gilmour on loan from Chelsea? Otherwise, the likes of Vranx, Grillitsch, Yusuf, Zurkowski, Cheick Doucoure, Sow, Camara etc could be looked at. Definitely an area worth investing in.


Richarlison - He’d tear it up! But no. Our most valuable asset will hopefully raise £50M or so and allow us to replace our central midfield. Wages: £110k p/w Sell (sadly)

Calvert-Lewin – We may not have a choice here but we’d be selling at a low price if we did. If fit, then he would surely be bookies’ favourite for the Golden Boot in the Championship. So long as he is up for it then, I’d fight hard to keep him. He stays fit and sharp and keen and his goals will get us promoted. Wages: £72k p/w. Keep

Rondon - Will get goals in the Championship. Would be a decent-ish first-choice striker and a very good back-up at that level. Wages: £43k p/w. Keep

Gordon - He would have a decent chance at being one of the stand-out players in the division if he carries on this season’s progress. Cheap, hard working and talented. The template player. Wages: £2.5k p/w. Keep!

Gray – Should excel at this level with his talent, though is perhaps better at counter-attacking whereas presumably we would expect to have more of the ball a league lower. Would have to work hard but affordable. Wages: £42k p/w. Keep

Townsend – An experienced professional who can provide leadership, experience and versatility. A bit more expensive than you’d want a squad player to be at this level but probably a useful asset if looking for an immediate return. Wages: £48k p/w. Probably Keep

Broadhead and Simms – Two young players who have done really well on loan this year. Both would be worthy of some minutes and I think could cut it in the Championship though probably not as starters. Depending on who stays or is bought in, I’d possibly keep one of them and loan the other. Wages: £2k p/w. Keep or Loan Out

Replacements: There’s potentially good numbers here with the likes of Dobbin, Mills and Whitaker looking decent at lower level. Much depends on who stays and goes and if Richarlison and DCL both go (which seems very probable if we go down) then it’s probably worth bringing in someone who would guarantee goals at this level. Brereton Diaz is 3rd highest scorer currently and could be a target if he doesn’t get better PL offers. I also think Nketiah from Arsenal would get goals if he wants a first-team spot to continue development. Goalscorers are hard to find and crucial to have; that’s why I’d fight to keep Calvert-Lewin if he’s up for the fight.

So let’s say we are sticking with 4-3-3, that might give us a team like:

Patterson Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Iwobi Davies O’Brien
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Gray

Subs: Begovic, Holgate, Kenny, [new midfielder], Warrington, Townsend, Simms, Dobbin, Rondon.

I feel that team should be good enough to challenge strongly for promotion, especially if added to sensibly with a few bargains picked up from Europe by the new DoF. It’s a young team and could maybe benefit from one or two more experienced players, though the likes of Rondon, Townsend and to an extent Holgate might provide that. The midfield is probably the weakest area (as ever) so it may be that they decide to keep one of Allan or (more likely) Doucouré, or else hopefully they have excellent targets lined up.

I’m not going to pretend that getting relegated would be anything other than a catastrophic event (and possibly one from which we’d never recover) but, if it happens, then the optimist in me hopes it may be the opportunity for a reboot in style and approach that we have sorely needed for a long time. We have a couple of exciting young players who could really cement their development with a season of starts, though we’d risk losing them if we didn’t come back up fairly quickly.

Whether Frank Lampard would be the right person to do that, I’m not sure. I was not sold on him from the start and, if we do go down, then his early tenure will be considered a failure. I like the idea of Lampard (a young, energetic and modern manager) and it would seem that the players are fighting for him. But the proof as always in the pudding. There’s a fair few good managers out there so it will be interesting to see what the DoF and Board decide to do on that front if the worst does indeed happen.

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Reader Comments (82)

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Paul Kernot
1 Posted 27/04/2022 at 08:51:33
Pretty detailed analysis there Sam. Good effort. Like you though, even though it's now an absolute possibility, maybe even more like a probability, I still don't want to accept it. Burnley are playing like their lives depend on it. We certainly are not. I think they'll survive so it's more likely Leeds or us as they have a pretty ugly looking run in. Well I can hope can't I? We're close to praying for a miracle.
Shane Corcoran
2 Posted 27/04/2022 at 09:00:51
I didn’t read much of it as it’s utterly depressing to write this article at this point.

I mean I went over the exact same thing in my head but there it stayed.

Rob Halligan
3 Posted 27/04/2022 at 09:02:29
Sam, surely a typing error on your behalf re. Anthony Gordon. I'm pretty sure he must be on more than £2.5k per week, possibly £25k?
Sam Hoare
4 Posted 27/04/2022 at 09:14:49
Rob@3, £2.5k is what salary sport have him on Link

But i'm sure such websites are not that accurate and other sources say he is on £10k p/w which seems more likely; though he signed his new contract in 2020 before he had really established himself in the first team so it could be lower.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 27/04/2022 at 09:34:12
Shane (2), I agree with your post, no matter what we think only positive thoughts should be posted at the moment and Sam is usually a very positive poster, put the gloom away for now and let’s get behind the players like those supporters did at Anfield on Sunday.

Dominic back to his best with two or three goals very soon, Richarlison finding his shooting boots, midfield getting a grip of the game and adding a goal or two, defence fighting and concentrating for the whole game and putting their bodies in line no turning their backs on the ball along with Pickford guarding and controlling his six yard area the whole squad playing for each other talking and shouting to and at each other until we’ve got enough points in the bag.

Michael Lynch
7 Posted 27/04/2022 at 09:47:07
I'd agree with almost all of that, but I'd keep Coleman. His leadership qualities alone are worth the salary, and perhaps he'll be looking at transitioning to the coaching staff, the way Leighton Baines did.

I don't see this a catastrophic event personally. Horrible, depressing and damaging, but realistically we (along with every team outside the top six) were relegated a long time ago. The Premier League is made up of those six that can aim to qualify for the CL each season, and the rest. We are one of the rest.

In our favour is that we are one of the biggest, best-supported clubs of the rest, and will (hopefully) soon have a world-class stadium. Barring the kind of disasters you mention (administration, back to back relegation), if we can steady the ship we should find ourselves back in the Premier League relatively quickly, and return to being one of those teams with no chance whatsoever of CL football or winning the title, but an outside chance of Europa League football or a domestic cup final.

It's a different game now, we're no more a top six club than Aston Villa are. And it could easily be Villa in our position next season, the way they've played recently. Villa, us, West Ham, Newcastle - all big clubs who will spend as much time looking over their shoulders as they will looking up the table for the forseeable future.

Brian Murray
8 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:02:46
To me, Coleman equals Moyes equals Kenwright. We need a new Everton with professional winners or at at least winning mentality. Nothing against Coleman.
Sam Hoare
9 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:04:17
Dave@6, I hope/think that this is not a necessarily negative article.

As I say in the start I still think it’s very far from a foregone conclusion. Somewhere around 50/50. And if it does happen then I genuinely think it could be seen as an opportunity to carve a better, new style and direction which is needed whatever happens.

I guess I’m saying that long term (whatever happens in the next few weeks) I think we should be ok; so long as the board is capable of learning from past mistakes (a big IF perhaps).

Graham Holliday
10 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:09:10
In the now seemingly likely scenario that we go down, we will have to sell anyone that we get a reasonable bid for.

Those on high wages will be very difficult to move on – why would anyone want a player that they'd have to pay £100k a week or more for when they've performed so poorly this season (and, for many, in previous seasons as well)?

The unfortunate reality is that we're more likely to get interest in players like Pickford, Gordon and Gray (in addition to Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin who I think are nailed on to leave).

Leaving us with having to try and battle it out in the Championship with the majority of the players you're wanting to ship out.

Sorry to burst your bubble!

Tony Hill
11 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:12:52
It will be interesting to see what Lampard will do if we go (agreed on positive thinking etc).

Do we want him to stay/will he want to? I’d keep him but it’s anyone’s guess.

Michael Lynch
12 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:13:06
Graham, I think that depends on whether we have relegation clauses in player contracts. There has been a rumour that we haven't, which would appear to be pretty stupid if true, but assuming a few players at least have clauses, then there is less incentive for them to stay on a lower wage.

Trevor Powell
13 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:22:20
Can we have a poll on the site to gauge how supporters see the future? (Note to editors; Change text as seen fit)


1. Will we survive the drop?
(a) Likely
(b) Evens
(c) Unlikely


2. If we are relegated, when will we return to the PL?
(a) After one season
(b) After two seasons and into Bramley-Moore
(c) Become a Sunderland Tribute Act


3. If we return immediately, what would be our PL finish?
(a) Relegation repeat like Norwich and Fulham
(b) 11th to 17th place
(c) Top ten berth


4. What will be your attitude if we are relegated?
(a) Absolute disaster
(b) A minor blip, we are too good for Champioship football
(c) A real opportunity to sort out the deterioration in the running of the club for a more positive model and identity?


5.Who should be the driving force to establish NEW EVERTON?

(a) Moshiri and Kenwright

(b) Thelwell and Lampard ONLY

(c) All four of them together


Just a thought!

I would go .... 1B 2.B 3.B 4.C 5.B

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:27:43
Good analysis Sam. I don't really think I can offer much else in terms of players who will stay or go as that is out of my control and you've gone into good balanced detail.

If (IF) the worst happens, I think we would be more of a Newcastle and Villa than a Sunderland.

But. BUT. It hasn't happened yet so I'm just looking forward to my trip on Sunday.

Andrew Ellams
16 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:35:02
I think whether it's stay up or go down several of the current squad will move on this summer either for their own reasons of for financial reasons.

I'll be surprised to see Pickford, Mina, Allan, Richarlison or DCL at the club next season either way.

Trevor @ 13

1. b
2. b
3. b
4. a
5. The Championship is a notoriously tough league to get out of, especially if you have financial issues so to go down and not come straight back up could set the club back a long way for a long time.

P Ron Wells
17 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:36:31
We are now in last chance saloon. If we go down it will be vulture time in the desert. The vultures will pick off any meat (including young hopefuls like Branthwaite and Gordon, together with the better elements) and leave us with a skeleton of has-beens or nevvawozzas on high wage contracts.

I only hope the rumours about no relegation clauses in contracts are just that.

Michael Lynch
18 Posted 27/04/2022 at 10:44:25
Danny @15, I agree that the comparison with Villa and Newcastle is closer to the mark than with Sunderland (or Leeds for that matter), but maybe I'm being over-optimistic.

It really does depend on how well the club is run and, with our current ownership and board, perhaps Leeds is in fact closer to our reality.

Anyway, Villa spent three seasons in the Championship before coming back up through the play-offs, whereas Newcastle have bounced back at first time of asking twice. So, maybe we need to analyse what the barcodes did right.

Graham Holliday
19 Posted 27/04/2022 at 11:18:32
Michael @ 12 - stupidity is how we got into this position. I would imagine we'd be looking at loaning some players with us covering the majority of their wages just to reduce costs slightly.
Dennis Stevens
20 Posted 27/04/2022 at 11:21:19
Sadly, it's the young, talented players we want to keep that we'd have to sell & the older, over-paid players we'd be trying to give away. That likely means we don't end up with a very good squad for the job in hand. I vote that we stay up instead!
Joe McMahon
21 Posted 27/04/2022 at 11:29:14
Brian@8 I fully agree. The mentality of loyal servants for the club and "he's a blue" has to end.
Paul Carr
22 Posted 27/04/2022 at 11:31:56
Am I correct in thinking that we have a few players who have already experienced relegation? Godfrey, Doucoure, Pickford and Keane? Perhaps not a good attribute when considering future aquisitions.
Christine Foster
23 Posted 27/04/2022 at 11:55:07
Read it, Sam, but didn't digest it... just can't.

But I tell you what, if it does happen, then the biggest Evertonian in the world can shove his legacy where the sun don't shine. It's primarily down to him for the years of neglect and shady relationships, Moshiri must have little to do with him. But the failure to bring in a professional board after the shares purchase, and then allowing Kenwright to stay on, is Moshiri's failure.

I can't say we don't deserve to be relegated; I can say it will be a great achievement if we are not. That in itself is a damming indictment on the running of this club. Many of us have been saying it for so many years now, it's been like a train crash in slow motion.

The Fat Controller pulled all the wrong levers, right from the very start. Got into bed with the wrong people, conned the fans, I bet he believed himself in the end. A charlatan out of his depth. Love isn't enough in business, incompetence born out of arrogance and delusion. There is no satisfaction in prediction, only sadness.

Personally, I have parked thoughts relating to either the owner or chairman. No matter what happens on the field, their stewardship has been truly awful. So, for the next month, I will be cheering on Lampard and his team every day in the hope they can do enough to ensure survival.

I like Lampard, he speaks his mind and not afraid to either. I think he is a man trapped by circumstance but he was employed to find a way out of the mess he did not create. I wish him well and hope he does.

I cannot think of Everton in the Championship, it won't make a blind bit of difference to my love for the club, but I will fear for its future.

Tom Bowers
24 Posted 27/04/2022 at 12:25:38
If we survive then what can we expect next season. More of the same I suspect with the same squad less a few offloaded.

No need to overstate the obvious about this season's performances but you get what you deserve no matter how big you were in the past.
The dreaded drop has happened to big teams in the past.

We just have to pray results go our way in the next few weeks no matter how poor they play.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 27/04/2022 at 12:35:23
I don’t think many of us could really think about Everton being relegated until next season begins, but I’m staying positive, although every time I hear Bill Kenwright’s name mentioned, I do find it hard to stay calm.

It’s hard to like many of Everton’s players, but they were better on Sunday, simply because they showed fight and aggression, and although I didn’t want Mykolenko to play, I think he’s one of us now, and that’s the first time I’ve felt like that about any of our new signings, since Richarlison joined the club, and this has got to become the mantra whatever happens.

Dale Rose
26 Posted 27/04/2022 at 12:40:55
Very good article, Sam, hard to digest a bit like sorting out a deceased person's possessions. How the fuck did we get from there to here? Just hoping for a miracle.
Ray Jacques
27 Posted 27/04/2022 at 12:59:20
I doubt that the chaotic Moshiri, boys pen bullshit Billy and Little Miss Dynamite have made any contingency plan for relegation.

We will sink into the abyss with these idiots running the show if as expected we fall.

Jerome Shields
28 Posted 27/04/2022 at 13:25:45
Good article, Sam. Younger players, wise heads and a midfield rethink. Though there would have to be radical change both on and off the pitch, whether Everton survive or drop. There are a lot of deluded people round Everton, it's why the fans fret.
Robert Tressell
29 Posted 27/04/2022 at 13:31:01
Sam, please! There's plenty of points still to play for!

Whatever happens, it's a good critique of a squad that needs work.

The difficulty is in shifting players who are surplus to requirements but on big wages. So we won't be able to get rid of everyone we'd like to.

At the same time there may well be interest in Gordon and Branthwaite as two of the relative few very good young English players not already at a very rich club. Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Mina will also attract plenty of interest.

I'd be delighted to shift about 10 players on and bring about 10 players in but this won't be the reality.

If we bring in two or three quality first-teamers I'll be happy. Perhaps along with a couple of teenagers / speculative signings.

They don't need to be glamorous or expensive. They just need to be a good fit for the club with a clear role.

Danny Baily
30 Posted 27/04/2022 at 13:42:13
I'd be amazed if Coleman left, and his leadership is precisely what will be needed next season. And we already know what Townsend can do at Championship level. We won't have a choice with Calvert-Lewin, he'll be off (and we'll get decent money for him).

The key will be bringing in attacking options that can excel at Championship level. If we haven't already tapped up Dwight Gayle's agent, I'd be surprised, he could do a job for a season.

Dan Durfield
31 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:01:02
Great article Sam, and interesting you've mentioned Huddersfield's Lewis O'Brien. I live nearish Huddersfield and have watched them at home a few times this season and thought he was the pick of the bunch.

As you say, energetic and can pass and he seems to have intelligence, nous and the right amount of aggression. An upgrade on many of our current midfielders. I imagine he would command quite a price though, but certainly think he would do well in either the Premier League or the Championship.

David Thomas
32 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:01:02

That is an horrendous midfield in your predicted team.

Jamie Crowley
33 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:17:39
This article is well written by a true Blue, but it's premature.

I've decided we're not going down. I got my crystal ball out, and we're going to lose to Chelsea and Leicester, and look death square in the face.

Then we'll beat Watford, Brentford, Palace, and Arsenal in succession to survive. A "Great Escape" that will be spoken of 100 years from now.

And Ernie Baywood will go mad with glee realizing the impossible happened.

Pete Clarke
34 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:26:23
The reason we are one of the favorites for the drop is because of Bill Kenwright. He is a meddling old fart who lives in a fantasy but has inadvertently brought us to the brink of destruction through his determination to hang on to the club.

If he is not held accountable and forced out by the upcoming anger of our supporters, then nothing else matters. I personally may well not bother any more until he's gone, one way or the other.

I would gladly accept all of the current shite players at our club to be with us next season if Kenwright was forced out because I'm sure the whole deep-rooted malaise at the club would change with him gone. We will never move forward with him acting as father figure to us.

As we discuss things on here about our future in the Championship that horrible lying weasel is probably lining up Wayne Rooney to replace Lampard.

Sam Hoare
35 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:28:36
Robert @29,

I've certainly not given up! Just my way of coping with the current predicament!

I'm sure there would be interest in the likes of Gordon and Branthwaite but as I see it we don't have to sell anyone who is on a long contract and on affordable wages. We would certainly raise money through the sale of Richarlison and probably Calvert-Lewin but after that we are at liberty to turn down offers on players who fit our requirements.

Jamie @33, my heart attack aside, I hope you are right!

Stephen Vincent
36 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:39:18
What a depressing article.

There is a World Cup in November, if we do go down then any player who has even a sniff of a place in a qualified international team will be pushing to leave, so Pickford (incidentally Sam he is currently 5th in the saves table and is top English keeper), Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, maybe even Mykolenko or Patterson will all wish to remain in the top flight to ensure their selection for the World Cup in Qatar.

Brian Murray
37 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:53:17
Loads giving their predicted teams if we drop. Seems to have been forgotten that in the premier we have folded and bottled big time with even a roar of a crowd ( Newcastle Burnley etc ). The physical part as well will be even more fierce in the championship so the likes of Gomes would cack himself i. If we can’t get buyers that is.
Dennis Stevens
38 Posted 27/04/2022 at 14:53:17
Sam, I'm not at all sure we will be in a position to turn down offers for any of our players. Tbh, I'm concerned that a drop into the Championship could be accompanied by a points deduction, bearing in mind our financial situation. This would make it a real battle just to survive there & thoughts of promotion straight back may just prove to be wishful thinking.
David Bromwell
39 Posted 27/04/2022 at 15:16:08
This is depressing stuff an the analysis of the squad confirms just how bad things are. In recent matches there has been absolutely no quality on show, ok there has been lots of effort on occasion but sadly no real quality as a result we never really look like we are going to score.

Whatever happens I hope Frank and his new team will be with us next season. I see no point in making yet another change of manager and would hope that Frank be given sometime to build his own squad.

However, we really need an urgent change at board level as the Club have continued to stumble from one crisis to another under the current personnel. We clearly need more people who have the right level of expertise and experience and let's draw a close on those who think this is a part time hobby.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 27/04/2022 at 15:40:38
Stephen@36 the stats I refer to for Pickford is not amount of saves (which I usually think is more indicative of a defense) but the percentage of saves made compared to goals conceded. Or even better saves compared to expected saves (ie how many goals are being let in where the keeper could/should do better). There’s a chart here that indicates Pickford as low down in such analysis Link
Kevin Molloy
41 Posted 27/04/2022 at 15:53:19
I think only one thing can be predicted from here, we are on the rollercoaster ride from hell. No result can be relied upon for us or them. I would be 180 degrees on your ins and outs Sam. We won't be getting rid of any of the dross, while all of the 'good' stuff goes I'm afraid.

It's all up in the air really. If we do go down, Moshiri would go, which would be an unmitigated triumph, rid of that ridiculous buffoon at last. The reason he has been such an awful spender is it's clearly not his money.

I've seen him at games with Kenwright, not even following what's going on, and then jumping up half a second after Kenwright if something happens. Otherwise absorbed by his spreadsheets of Kazakhstan or wherever the fuck. We've just been an entry into development of the docks, and a vehicle to launder stuff.

But paradoxically, if we stay up, we keep the bellend and god knows when we get rid. Kenwright is entirely to blame for the whole mess, he had control and sold us to gangsters for a top price. Cheers, Bill.

Christopher Timmins
42 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:15:35

Let's all hope the worst does not happen, I am hoping we can put the following results together over the final 6 games to bring us up to 40 points and safety. Not a lot of wriggle room but it can still be done, as Tony keeps on saying there will be plenty of time to discuss the fall out should the worst happen.

Chelsea (d)
Crystal Palace (w)
Brentford (w)
Arsenal (l)
Leicester (d)
Watford (w)

Clive Rogers
43 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:18:13
The club reportedly have the option to part ways with Lampard and the staff he brought with him without compensation at the end of the season. If so, and we are relegated, it looks like they will all be gone. We can't afford those wages in the Championship, presumably.
Brian Williams
44 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:23:37
Personally I think 38 points will be enough, that's nine from our last six games.

I also think it'll be Leeds that join Norwich and Watford in the bottom three.

Derek Moore
45 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:27:29

You're either moonlighting Sam or somebody is stealing your work mate.

Dennis Stevens
46 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:28:33
You could be right, Brian - I really hope so! I've long felt that survival would depend on whether we could catch Leeds Utd rather than depending on Burnley failing. Leeds last few matches are, arguably, an even tougher run in than ours, so there is some hope.
Gary Jones
47 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:32:18
Good article, albeit horrifying wages for so many failures!! What a debacle.

For me, we've got to take a calculated risk and try and get straight back up, but in a way that creates a platform too. Obviously we'll need to cash in on the likes of Richie, DCL and Pickford (and anyone on a wage above £60k who isn't out of contract the next summer anyway)…..but really want to see us keep the and supplement the young lads if we can! At least 22-25 players needed for the extra games next year….

1st 11:

[New goalkeeper]
Patterson Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Doucouré Onyango Iwobi
Gordon Simms Gray

Virginia or Tyrer
Kenny Welsh Gibson Nkounkou
Davies Warrington [New midfielder]
Mills Dobbin Broadhead

Everyone else can go… let's hope the DoF has a few 19-year-old pearlers in there, or Frank can still get a few of Chelsea's gems without Roman there.

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 27/04/2022 at 16:47:43

I agree on all your points though I fear Mykolenko and Gordon may be among the few attracting bids. Gomes could prove to be our Jack Rodwell in terms of Sunderland (uselessness, massive salary) comparisons.

Alan J Thompson
49 Posted 27/04/2022 at 17:00:09
If the worst does happen and given the financial position we are in then I would make all those without "relegation" release clauses stay for next season and if they request a transfer then it would be refused on the grounds that they got us here.

But it is my feeling that whoever decided on Benitez who should take responsibility for getting us into this mess and take with him whoever failed to oppose the move.

Anthony Murphy
50 Posted 27/04/2022 at 17:17:03
We need a Mourinho-like ‘us against them’ siege mentality. We need to put to one side how self inflicted our mess is and use the media bias and simple fact everyone else is so desperate to see us go down to fire us up. Who knows, we may benefit from this longer term by carrying this on into next season and slowly regaining something of an identity again..
Ed Prytherch
51 Posted 27/04/2022 at 17:26:30
Suppose that we go down, there is no FFP penalty and Moshiri sells. A chunk of his money is in the form of a loan to the club. Does this push us towards administration?
Mal van Schaick
52 Posted 27/04/2022 at 19:03:56
If we stay up, we need a clear out; and if we go down, we need a clear out.

Delph, Holgate, Davies, Allan, Doucoure, Gomes, and Rondon can go. Sold or otherwise. Calvert-Lewin looks like he wants out.

If we stay up, add decent quality signings to those who remain, put this season behind us and learn from our demise.

If we go down (I hope we don't), keep Lampard and let him build around those who stay, that's all we can do.

Ralph Basnett
53 Posted 27/04/2022 at 19:24:11
Sell Calvert-Lewin and we can give Simms and Broadhead 4 years to mature similar to Calvert-Lewin.
Tony Everan
54 Posted 27/04/2022 at 19:31:42
Sam, I agree with most of the arguments. Also that we can and should stay up. It's 50/50 and up for grabs. If in the Championship, I think we will need to be way more tougher and resilient, coupled with goals galore.


Fulham's goal difference is +60, the next two +30. Mitrovic is the Championship Player of the Season. Can Calvert-Lewinmatch Mitrovic's exploits? I think Dom and Rondon will give us enough firepower at that level. Gordon is a menace and getting better so he's a certain starter. Gray's end product is concerning me, running into blind alleys, nearly every shot blocked. I'm expecting better from him.


Tom Davies is possibly not strong enough for a central midfield berth in the Championship. Sell or keep as a challenger / back up. Allan will be gone, also Delph, also Mr X. Iwobi and Gomes I would sell / loan if possible. I think the central midfield is where we need to be massively focused on buying two durable fighters who can boss games and play good technically too. I would keep Doucoure and play him as the central attacking midfielder, free him up and let him play the game he wants to, his height and athleticism will be a big asset in most games.


I share the sentiments about Branthwaite, we have a fantastic player. Can't wait for him to be starting every week. Mina will be gone, Keane I'd keep for squad depth, same for Holgate who can cover for Patterson. I think we need to sign a hard no-nonsense centre-back who can keep us strong and resilient strong through a long tough campaign. James Tarkowski is a free agent in June. He's not a cultured player but he is a right hard bastard of a centre-back. Him on a free could be good business and allow us to strengthen those midfield enforcer roles.


As you say, there are prospects coming through, but some may be the best still a bit young. Broadhead and Simms have not done much wrong on loan and deserve to stake a claim preseason. Warrington also. However, I would fully expect Dobbin to make an impact and be challenging to start, especially in Gray's place.

Robert Tressell
55 Posted 27/04/2022 at 19:42:25
I don't think we'll go down but the most likely First XI if we do is probably:

- Virginia / Begovic
- Kenny / Patterson
- Mykolenko
- Keane
- Godfrey / Branthwaite
- Davies / Gomes
- Doucoure
- Iwobi
- Gordon / Townsend
- Gray / Dobbin
- Brereton-Diaz / Pukki (or similar)

This is because we may well have next to no transfer budget despite about £100m of player sales.

Whatever budget we have needs to be spent on goals.

Players like Pukki and Brereton-Diaz are both out of contract. Good chance we could get them (unless they prefer to warm a bench in the Premier League).

Quite where this would leave Dele Alli, I do not know. I suppose Newcastle might take him off us but there's a good chance we'd have no takers at all.

Some of the U23 players might get a few games but not many. They're not even holding their own in Premier League 2.

Dave Lynch
56 Posted 27/04/2022 at 19:43:51
I've got a couple of mates who are Baggies fans and they would not give you tuppence for the Premier League.
As one said... "You know you can't win it, you know it's corrupt and designed to favour the so-called elite clubs and you know the dice is loaded with regards FFP."

They said they are really enjoying competing in a league where any game can be won by any team.

Michael Lynch
57 Posted 27/04/2022 at 20:05:44
Dave, I’ve got a baggies mate who says exactly the same! Not that I want to end up like that, just that it’s interesting to hear his take on it.
Dennis Stevens
58 Posted 27/04/2022 at 20:15:28
One comment I've read regarding our imminent demise is a concern for the potential policing costs for clubs hosting the well known, and substantial, travelling Evertonian supporters. My immediate reaction was that there'd almost certainly be enough additional income to cover the costs – possibly just from the bar takings!
Paul Birmingham
59 Posted 27/04/2022 at 20:15:36
The next game and focus on beating Chelsea is all that counts.


Ken Kneale
60 Posted 27/04/2022 at 20:30:44
Paul - with you there. The situation is dire - the club has been mangled by decades of mismanagement and misdeeds; the supporters are saddled with a team that must rank as the most unpopular player for player ever in our history but this is no time to throw the towel in.

Talk about enjoying playing in the Championship brooks no positive with me. Let us just remind ourselves of 9 league titles and give one last push to the finish line of safety, then concentrate on getting rid of the anchor weights at boardroom and Finch Farm.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 27/04/2022 at 20:31:22
Dennis, haven't heard that one yet but not surprised. Funny how quickly that has found its way into consideration. The Machine never sleeps.

Many years ago, and some years after the changes (money grab) to the "Funding" of Police at matches, I was party to some of the figures charged to clubs, and it was what I'll call, eye opening.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 27/04/2022 at 21:02:57
I think this us a good article, Sam, and I know exactly why you have written it. For some time now, I have had an unsettling feeling of anxiety. I know the cause of it and only fellow Blues will get it, so I keep it to myself.

With that's going on, nationally, internationally and, frankly closer to home, fretting over the fate of a mismanaged club full of overpaid hired hands seems small-minded in the extreme. But, it's the way I feel and I guess the way most of us feel.

So, Sam, your article is therapeutic, reassuring and confirms that we will be fine no matter what. I suffer from extreme acrophobia and one of the real dangers is the pull to jump off a height to escape it. Get it over with. These are unbearable days; slow, drawn-out misery. There is a match coming soon that will be the one. The Wimbledon day.

Jamie Crowley, I would love to be looking back in June and marvelling at how incredible it all was. I couldn't take that scenario, Jamie!
Let's beat Chelsea and see Burnley and Leeds lose. Let's do this as easy as possible. Let's not do it the Everton way.

Kunal Desai
63 Posted 27/04/2022 at 21:17:29
Sam - I wouldn't be counting on this board to learn from past mistakes. They haven't for 6 years so there is nothing to suggest that magically change.

Kenwright and miss dynamite aren't fit for purpose. In order to get promoted back should the inevitable happen we'll need some savvy and intelligent people appointed on the board.

The current lot need booting out and it may be that these leeches won't need much convincing to leave especially as the big money won't be flowing in to the Championship.

There has to be a thorough clearout at the top with a revamped board capable of taking the club forward.

Brian Wilkinson
65 Posted 28/04/2022 at 02:17:34

If Everton beat Chelsea on Sunday, Bill's face will be zoomed onto, either by Sky cameras, or on the big screen, doing his happy clapping at ft, with Sky saying he bleeds Blue, or some shite like that.

He has us over a barrel, chances are we will still need points for our last home game, we have to get behind the team, giving no time to vent our feelings towards the board. They are going to get away with it yet again, there is nothing we can do, we can hardly protest, when we need to get behind the team.

Our full focus has to be these 6 games, but like I say, how can we hold the board accountable.

We cannot go down this route next season, if we survive, need a damn good clean out, from the top.

Stop giving out long contracts and huge wages, recruit better, but as long as Bill and Ben are still in charge, nothing is going to change, until we invest in professionals to run our football club.

Paul Kernot
66 Posted 28/04/2022 at 02:56:39
Trevor # 13.

You shouldn't have put your picks at the bottom of your post. I was picking as I went down the list and came up with the same as you.

Laurie Hartley
67 Posted 28/04/2022 at 06:35:25
Living 12,000 miles away is not helping me handle this. I wish I could be at Goodison on Sunday. The thought of watching it on my own in the middle of the night is unbearable.

Six games to play - let’s make it three points under our belt and five to play by Sunday night. It is still in our hands.

“We will FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, with all our might for the boys in the royal blue jersey.”

How many times have I sang those words with all my heart with my dad (God rest his soul), home and away during the 60’s before I emigrated. I hope those words rattle the stands at Goodison on Sunday and summon the spirit of days gone by.

Danny O’Neill
68 Posted 28/04/2022 at 07:30:38
But you will be there, Laurie. I've had to follow our club from afar and on different continents for years so I get your sentiment. When Duncan Ferguson scored in the 1-0 against United in 2005, I was in Swanbourne, near Perth, Australia. I've been in stranger places waiting on Everton's results.

Your 12,000 miles and early hours dedication puts my 410-mile London to Liverpool round trip, literally on planes, trains and taxis on Sunday into insignificance. Respect sir.

But we are all there behind them in one shape or form. I hope the club and the team feel that.

Brian Murray
69 Posted 28/04/2022 at 08:01:03
Brian @65. If what you say rings true and the happy clappers give him even more oxygen, then I say with a heavy heart the ultimate sacrifice will have to do to help us start afresh.

I'd love to know if Moshiri cares or is even aware why his club is run so badly? Strange for an accountant to just sit on his hands especially.

Tony McNulty
70 Posted 28/04/2022 at 08:36:03
I started to read this in detail, Sam, but ended up skimming it.

I'm not quite ready to indulge in this kind of thinking. I recall the old saw: "Forget any Plan B, make Plan A work."

I have said on the live forum and elsewhere, if we can show the fight and tenacity displayed against Liverpool, we will escape, probably just.

However, my current nightmare scenario is needing something from the last game at Arsenal.

Laurie Hartley
71 Posted 28/04/2022 at 08:58:15
I hope they do too Danny - If I had my way I would have you, Rob, George McK and Abrahams Snr & Jnr :) giving the team talk on Sunday. There are plenty of others but they won't fit in the dressing room and Christine F is further away than me.

Sam Hoare
72 Posted 28/04/2022 at 09:17:32
Andy@62, thanks very much. You get it. I think we feel and experience this situation very similarly.
Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 28/04/2022 at 09:34:20
Laurie (71), Laurie it’s got to be Christine who gives that team talk, she loves the Blues, knows more words than are in the dictionary, knows football inside out and imagine these players facing a woman scorned like we’ve all been scorned by most of these players this and other seasons: Christine would scare these players witless and get the bastards into bleedin’ action and not face her reaction at full time if they didn’t.
Laurie Hartley
74 Posted 28/04/2022 at 12:29:43
Dave # 73 - good idea - maybe we could all do it on Zoom 🤣
Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 28/04/2022 at 14:22:58
Laurie (74),

Zoom? Ah hey Laurie give us a bleedin' chance I'm just getting used to the landline telephone!!

Ian Riley
76 Posted 28/04/2022 at 15:12:19
Think Sam is right. Preparation for championship football must happen now. Those who think it's not going to happen are simply in denial. We are looking for top six form in our last 7 games. We don't score goals and that's killed us for years. Our expectations this squad can put two wins back to back just won't happen.

A baggies fan back in early March said "you need a win". I said "playing you next season in the championship". I was serious in the run we were on and still remains. Statistical data can tell you everything. We have no form and pressure to perform and get 3 wins, sorry I don't see it.

All that money spent and no 20 goal striker! Lukaku exit left a massive hole and that was years ago! We must find strikers for next season whatever league we are in.

First we must get dyche as manager. A must we have a manager with championship experience and players suited to that league. The championship is a grind week in week out! It's a fight to the finish. Also Our financial plight, who knows the outcome.

All I know championship football is very likely or if we do stay up. Change must happen. The gradual decline of this great club is very sad.

Steve Byles
77 Posted 28/04/2022 at 15:17:56
If we can get £100 million on player sales, I'd put the whole lot into the stadium build. Then promote the kids for the Championship. We can't pile up more and more debt.
Danny O’Neill
78 Posted 28/04/2022 at 15:19:02
I'm not in denial Ian. I am well aware of the possibility. But until it maybe happens, it's a possibility. Just as staying up is.

I have a 4am start on Sunday morning and won't get home until about around midnight.

I don't care, just make it worth my while Everton.

Paul Hewitt
79 Posted 28/04/2022 at 16:05:40
If the worst happens... What? We get out of a corrupt money-grabbing boring league. I wouldn't miss it at all.
Mike Hayes
80 Posted 28/04/2022 at 17:42:15
In order to win games we need to score goals and preferably more than the opposition - derrr! We haven’t got the players to do this regularly in games and build consistency we will be extremely fortunate to stay in the prem it will have to be from opposition own goals as this lot couldn’t score in a brothel 🤷😡
Don Alexander
81 Posted 29/04/2022 at 04:22:18
The piece should be titled WHEN the worst happens.

The only team with a worse record than us at the arse end of the table in recent weeks is Villa, albeit they have eight points and plus seventeen goals difference compared to useless us. Stating the obvious, every one of our shitty team rivals has a way better recent record, and especially the "mighty" Burnley whose squad cost way less than a tenth of ours,

We are royally fucked this season. Other current threads steadfastly ponder just who has created this catastrophe, as if it hasn't been blindingly obvious for decades.

Those of us who recognise that April is always followed by May are just a touch more savvy.

Ian Hollingworth
82 Posted 29/04/2022 at 07:18:34
Preparation for the Championship given our current predicament is the job of the board behind the scenes.

For us fans and the players it has to be the furthest thing from our minds.

We have to give our total support and the players have to give everything they have and go a little bit further.

We will survive.

Kevin Prytherch
83 Posted 29/04/2022 at 11:34:31
To be fair, even if we don’t go down we should be looking to do the majority of this anyway. Other than trying to keep Richarlison, I’d be quite happy to let the rest you suggest go regardless.
Matthew Williams
84 Posted 29/04/2022 at 13:55:47
If we go down, the first point of order must be to hound out our useless board. Second must be to stop watering the fucking pitch... I am sick and tired now of seeing pro footballers slipping over!

Then I'd gut the entire squad and give our youngsters a real go, stop instantly the diving culture that has sadly crept into our club, play in a retro Toffs kit... with amber socks, with no sponsorship neither.

A total blanket ban of all national press when we play a Premier League team in both Cup ties (fuck 'em)... and go for both promotion and a League Cup win.

We also need European ties to look forward to back in the big time and with our new stadium looming too, as well as scouting young British talent and not overpaid fucking foreign Mercenaries.

Rant over... A good article too, Sam, btw.

Len Hawkins
85 Posted 30/04/2022 at 11:43:59
We already have a manager used to the Championship he got Derby to the playoffs in his first season. What we need should be a word used by seafarers, and there were a few of them in Liverpool, Stability no more revolving door on the managers office.

How the hell a team is going to emerge from managerial after managerial change. The Board is a different matter, it is a cut-throat business and we need a cut-throat chairman CEO and directors while Kenwright still shoots his duff at The Wizard of Oz.

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