The dust has settled. The Twitter storm is a distant rumble on the horizon. Sean Dyche has had his first, bittersweet taste of "Everton, that" before a ball has been kicked.

And you get the feeling he’s enjoying it.

After all, this is an environment Dyche knows well. Embattled. Written-off. "Hand-to-mouth" as he said of the previous restrictions on spending at Burnley. He knows he is in for a scrap, and it isn’t his first. But this is different. Burnley punched above their weight, consistently. He didn’t inherit a club in crisis. He dragged them into a gunfight without even a knife: just a Johnathan Walters here or Ashley Barnes getting booked there.

In a roundabout way, Dyche has already kept us up. Last season’s Burnley under Dyche was a more frightening prospect than the Clarets were without him. And as the blue smoke and Fortress Goodison saw us pick up some much-needed points, Burnley faded badly after his dismissal. Their subsequent success and apparent rebranding under Vincent Kompany this season should not paper over Dyche’s achievements. Kompany has inherited a stable side and has been given the chance to play expansively in the second tier.

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And Dyche is very us, isn’t he? So was Frank a bit. And, oddly, mind-bogglingly given where we are now, Carlo was for a wild lockdown affair that sent tongues wagging. We all know Sean Dyche. We know what he’s about. Not in the usual, sentimental Everton way. No, we know him from the outside looking in. Didn’t he speak about slugs a lot once? Doesn’t he sound like a quarry clearing its throat? Didn’t he score a penalty for Chesterfield in the FA Cup? Yes, yes, yes. And he took it the way any fan in the street would want to take one: straight down the gullet.

None of this removes the seething fury of a fanbase that was forced to face the window slamming shut and with it our faith in those above, whatever dregs remained, gone and gone for good. We aren’t supporters that expect too much. Other clubs might be flexing their financial muscle without restraint, but we’ve seen where that goes at our end of the market: south, and fast. I’m delighted that we didn’t break the bank for more players that spend their contracts loaned out until they leave, three managers later, a scratch of the head in disbelief that they were still on the payroll.

But we have a right to be angry. We have a right to feel embarrassed when other fans and pundits look on with…well, pity. We have a right to question the plan, all one hundred and twenty points of it. And that’s not to pin all the blame on Thelwell’s door. If we’ve found someone who likes making plans and is curbing our excesses and isn’t throwing money at the problem, that was probably the sort of hire we should have made when we first appointed a Director of Football. We might even have found a use for the likes of Steve Walsh to scout out younger players and make some money out of the enterprise. Marcel Brands might have been a cool guy we met at an airport. Instead, we know the grim reality.

I’m sure Sean Dyche is all too aware of our plight, and if he wasn’t fully up to speed then watching the chaos unfold on Deadline Day will have opened his eyes. We as fans don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes but there’s enough under the lights to know it’s a shambles. The club gave themselves one day, Deadline Day, to fix a problem at the top end of the pitch. That problem existed in the summer, if not the previous January. It existed with Anthony Gordon, and without him, it is glaring.

As fans, the resentment and division that has built are powerful. Moshiri’s "Bond-villain-on-a-budget" interview would suggest that anger at the board is damaging our survival prospects and that togetherness is required. He also promised a striker. This amateurish communication in adversity renders this collective null and void. There is no way back for the fans and the board. But that anger need not be toxic. As discussed in this week’s edition of the ToffeeWeb podcast, the“Us vs Them” narrative is one that we as fans respond to and can be channelled to our advantage.

Togetherness with the board is impossible: togetherness with the fans, the players, and the manager is vital. The minimum buy-in is that the player’s efforts match and mirror the passion from the stands and the streets. Last season, an unprecedented effort from the supporters stirred the players and coaching staff into action. This time, that same blood and thunder need to be seen on the pitch. Goodison is apparently not a safe place for those in charge. A well-drilled Everton side with a walking drill of a manager, plus a stadium rocking with pent-up aggression? That’s not a safe place for any opponent.

I’m from Chesterfield. And despite being born an Evertonian, I went - with the entire population of my hometown - to watch Chesterfield take on the might of Middlesborough in the FA Cup Semi-Final. I was seven years old. Nick Barmby hadn’t betrayed me yet, Andrei Kanchelskis was my playground idol, and when I played football in the park I’d throw an elbow out like Big Dunc. But Chesterfield’s day at Old Trafford was something.

I’d have been surprised to know that those players, those unheralded names from the lower leagues, would get closer to Wembley than my beloved blues for more than a decade. But if you’d have told me that one day Everton would be in a mess and we needed someone to get us out of it, I know which man I’d pick: that bloke who leathered a penalty down the goalkeeper's throat. I’d feel like we were in safe, gnarled hands. That we had someone to fight with and fight for. That we had a chance to upset the odds. That we had a custodian. 

Reader Comments (54)

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Dupont Koo
1 Posted 03/02/2023 at 01:23:49
Nicely written, Adam. Despite my admiration of Senor Bielsa, I would not have anybody else other than Dyche to try making Lemonades out of the lemons at Finch Farm.

(Bielsa needs Chilli, Onion and Tomatoes to make Salsa but there isn't any at Finch Farm now!)

Paul Kernot
2 Posted 03/02/2023 at 01:33:01
We may well lose tomorrow but how we play will tell us everything we need to know about how the rest of the season is going to go and whether this last chance messiah is the real thing.
Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 03/02/2023 at 01:45:22

Nice article and I forgot all about Dyche the player and that extraordinary FA cup run by Chesterfield. Feels like a million years ago. Hard to imagine that happening today. Also a nice reminder of Boro as the original money wasters who got worse before Moshiri came along.

Derek Knox
4 Posted 03/02/2023 at 05:30:12
Good article Adam, how many times in recent years have we had the feeling that another new Manager, and we have had the whole gamut, from World Class, to virtual novice, would suddenly transform us and get us back in the ring fighting against all weights ? Only to find after the novelty has worn off, and expectations extinguished, it is the same old, rinse, spin and repeat.

Only this time, when the stark reality of a lowly League position and the loss of Top status for 70 years, is very much a possibility. Last season was bad enough, but we managed to get over the line, and I was there, (Crystal Palace) what an atmosphere, (second half) which almost paralleled Bayern Munich all those years ago, but I will always believe that it was the Fans who did it, they lifted those players.

Sadly Frank, never learned properly from that, and although I believe his hands were tied both financially and with injuries, and who he had available, he still made the mistake of playing the same group, when there were at least some alternatives, substitutes and youngsters, who never got a look in.

Well I truly believe that Sean Dyche is different to his predecessors, and can manage to elevate these players mentality into believing they can win every game, rather than a 'damage limitation mentality'. He is a great believer in the mind processes in football, if you go out thinking we can't win, you won't ! Simple as that.

How many times have we heard in situations away from Football, in an emergency, an 8 stone woman lifting a Car off a child or another adult, to save their lives, but never being able to replicate that feat after when tested ? The mind and the body are very much underestimated, but in the right conditions, actions such as these become automatic responses.

I believe we are almost in those emergency situations, and we have the right man to instil belief into what we have to work with.

Tony Hill
5 Posted 03/02/2023 at 05:44:05
This is very well expressed and is correct. I can’t wait for tomorrow. What matters is that we have someone in charge who will be up for the fight every single time.

That’s what we all crave and what we will all support (including in the Championship, God forbid). The other stuff will follow.

Paul Traill
6 Posted 03/02/2023 at 06:51:52
Great stuff Adam, well in mate.
Darren Hind
7 Posted 03/02/2023 at 07:23:45
I tell you what. If there is a single crumb of comfort to be taken from this crisis, then it has to be the current quality of the articles on TW.

Posters who you rarely hear from (if ever) are putting together some fantastic stuff. Skillfully written and with such passion.

I have little to no knowledge of FA cups (any cups) we didnt win. These competitions become dead to me as soon as we are out.

Nice to know our manager stepped forward and buried a penalty despite the expectations of an entire town resting on his shoulders. That tells you what you need to know about his character.

Education before 7.00 ? You don't get that watching Susanna Reid and Ed Balls

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:05:32
I’ve just read the first bit and can’t believe what has been written, because when Dyche was shown the door I’m sure Burnley then won a few games. We were actually five points behind them before we played Chelsea, with five or six games to go.
Adam McCulloch
9 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:07:29
I think the interest with Dyche is that, apart from a true wild card like Bielsa, we’ve tried just about every type of manager in the Moshiri project. The Big Name. The Firefighter. The Professor or whatever Richarlison called Silva. The Don. The Red. And finally Lampard, The Rookie.

Dyche is the closest to David Moyes of all these appointments. And that’s not me harking back to “good old days that were nearly days” - more a sign of where we’re at and what we need. A reset. Would be great if that extended to those upstairs but I’m surprisingly hopeful for tomorrow that we can start to claw some pride back on the pitch. COYB.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:29:13
When Everton beat Burnley at Goodison, last season, I thought Burnley were the better team, but Townsend scored a worldy, and Everton had a ten minute spell when they just blew Burnley away. I couldn’t believe how poor Burnley were in the return game at Turf Moor, and because Everton hadn’t improved as the season went on, it showed how badly Burnley, for whatever reason had badly regressed, imo.

This is where Dyche, should definitely come in handy, because the only thing that Burnley possessed that night at Turf Moor, was spirit, and will, and this was enough to help them inexplicably beat Everton, that night.

He’s been out of work, he’s just got a massive job at Everton, and if his board of directors stay away tomorrow, then I’m certain Everton will create a massive upset against the league leaders, and this could suddenly change the mood.

Adam McCulloch
11 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:43:19
Tony, I probably should’ve mentioned the pretty big caveat that they did have a new manager bounce when Dyche was dismissed, then faded in May. But from an Evertonian perspective at that time, Dyche being shown the door seemed to make Burnley more brittle.

And you’re right to allude to that night at Turf Moor. Without new arrivals, Dyche is working with what he’s got: a squad that on paper isn’t that bad, but is lacking all the basics that Burnley possessed that night. If he can inject that spirit and will into them and get them up to speed, we will hopefully grind out a result on Saturday. Here’s hoping eh?

Iain Johnston
12 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:56:00
God... I feel I've just watched Bill Pullman's address from Independence Day!

Well done Adam, nice mate... very nicely written.

Charles Brewer
13 Posted 03/02/2023 at 08:58:49
It would appear that there are three camps in the Everton realm at present. The board, the fans and the playing staff.

The fans have come round to the view that the board is the enemy and the board has taken to Alastair Campbell style lies and behind the scenes briefing against them (“Headlockgate”)

The playing staff (led by the manager, who is likely to be the only one with an IQ above 85) are uncertain. The board, led by a deceitful luvvie (saying “Darling you were fabulous” - while phoning his mates with “Turned up drunk, forgot his lines, tripped over the sets and vomited on the leading lady during his big speech, AGAIN, he is dead dearie, DEAD”, tells them that they are unlucky (because taking two years off sick is no explanation for now being shit as a centre forward, is it DCL?), but also that leaving will ensure they never get the same wages (if they can find an employer).

This fight is a strange one, with one side (let us call it the “the Saigon regime”) having a complete monopoly of power, money, propaganda and influence. The other (let us call them “Viet Kong” having all the numbers and unlimited time. The Saigon regime has managed to get a hugely wealthy but dim supporter, but it remains corrupt, inept and self-serving.

The supporters, like the Viet Kong, can lose every battle, every encounter, but they have nowhere else to go. We are not going to start supporting the Redshite, Manchester United or Spurs. We are Evertonians, and that’s it. A concerted, never ending attack on Kenwright and his cronies will ultimately prevail.

The prize the supporters want is a successful club where they can have pride in the history,the style and the present playing staff of the club. Despite occasional talismanic players (Dean, Ball, Young, Ratcliffe, Ferguson, Reid, make your own list, I’d include Duncan McKenzie and Wayne Rooney even though they were only briefly players) Everton is not a club of “stars”, it is a club with a collectivist ethos which it is easy to be part of.

Now, back to digging tunnels a Cu Chi… where’s me shovel?

Kevin Molloy
14 Posted 03/02/2023 at 09:07:02
You look at Sean Dyche and he reminds you of somebody doesn't he. I can't decide yet if that's a squaddie or a murderer but he definitely rings a bell somewhere.
Dave Williams
15 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:04:30
Kevin- Sean wouldn’t look out of place as one of the ex- SAS guys in the TV show Who dares Wins”.
This is a great read - well done Alan- and it is fascinating to see more and more posters jumping on board and getting behind Sean. As someone else posted above we now wait to see how quickly he can change the mentality.
He can make a good start with a real blood and thunder display, a willingness to use his substitutes early and also to give Simms a proper chance.
Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:14:52
He’s neither Kevin. He’s a honest fella, who carved a career for himself in the lower leagues after converting to a central defender from a central midfielder. He’s come up the hard way, and turned a horrible negative into a big positive, by going on the weights and building himself up, after breaking his leg whilst he was an apprentice footballer.

He’s kept the same mates, which always shows great values, imo, and he’s also a sensible person. He’s normal in the sense that he has no airs or graces, and he can also have a laugh at himself.

Every single person who was at Forest, during the Brian Clough era, will have been educated in how to play good football, and also had certain footballing values instilled into them (unless they were thick) so I believe Dyche has earned the right to take over a massive but very dysfunctional football club, who are desperate for the basic common sense skills (to begin with🤞) that he will definitely bring into the club.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:20:56
That semifinal Adam, am I right in saying there was something very contentious, that kept Middlesbrough in the cup, that day?

I was gutted for Chesterfield, that day, and especially for Dyche, who would have got to captain a third division team at Wembley, in a FA CUP final, and this would have been a tremendous achievement. I remember him going on TFI FRIDAY, the next week with Chris Evans, and thinking ‘fuck off lad’, but I’m sure the stick he would have received would have been like water off a ducks back! Let’s just hope he can keep us up.

Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:29:10
Great post Adam and I love the thought, which is starting to happen, of all us fans sticking together as one, urging our team on for the survival fight, with the owner, chairman and puppets on the outside looking in being totally ignored by the masses of Everton fans, I hope that thought becomes reality and the media focuses on that, while our team and manager inches it’s way to safety.

We shall not, We shall not be moved, but Kenwright et al will,and become stinking bad memories.

Barry Hesketh
19 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:31:51
Tony @17
Below is the link to the BBC archives with video. I remember watching that game on the telly, and being gutted that Chesterfield didn't make it, due to some official's decisions.

Chesterfield Semi

Barry Hesketh
20 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:39:04
There's a piece about Haaland's current season compared to Dixie's record breaking season in 1928.

Haaland v Dixie

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:47:07
Thanks Barry. I googled the game after I wrote my last post, and although Dyche, had a shocker😂 he was brave enough to take the pen, and that shot that came off the underside of the bar, was definitely a goal, so he was robbed of a FA Cup medal.

My afterthought regards Clough. He was clever, he was simple, and he had great values when it came to football, but I don’t think anyone who has ever been under his tutelage, has really achieved great things?

Another one of my old managers Martin O’Neill, has probably done as well as anyone else who has played under Clough, so hopefully Dyche, can be the man, who goes one better than Martin, who was also a clever and simple football manager, imo.

Nick Page
22 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:48:54
Thanks for the link Barry. What I noticed there at the bottom of the article is how many prolific strikers FC Jammyasfuck manage to rustle up out of nowhere. Go back to Shankly and I reckon they’ve probably had two seasons without a 20 goal/season striker(s). No other club gets anywhere fecking near it.
Christine Foster
23 Posted 03/02/2023 at 10:51:05
Charles 13# Funny that, 20 years or so ago, I went down the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam and it was one of the most shuddering experiences of my life. The working "man traps", the way it was "sold" as a tourist attraction.. anything but..
The pictures of the atrocities in the on site museum with a video to go with it..

A good article and I have to say if he pulls this one off he will go down in Everton folklore, he will deserve too as well. One thing about the City, and I think Tony alluded to it somewhere on another thread, we are full of humour, goodwill and kindness, but never ever do the dirty on us. Its not often the fans look at each other and say no..stuff that.. all we needed was someone who could chew a brick, spit it out and say that was good.. Desperate Dan, no less. And thats who we got. No quarter given now..
They think its all over... we have only just woke up

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 03/02/2023 at 11:00:00
Tony (21) maybe Ian Woan could be the partner that helps Sean to mould Everton into a very good team like Peter Taylor was to Clough, I think Brian Clough missed Taylor after their fall out.
Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 03/02/2023 at 11:01:15
Excellent that Adam.

It doesn't matter where you come from or live, you are an Evertonian through and through and part of our family.

Dyche wasn't my choice, but I don't think we had many, so we get behind him, and most importantly, the team.

Your points make me think. Plan? DoF (multiple ones) that haven't been allowed to do their jobs. Submissive and as compliant as my dogs. Although the boy is a bit of free spirit, but I always know he's going to come back once he's lost the chase with the foxes and squirrels. I guess that's like me with Everton! I always come back. Always will. They've always got me and have had so from the cradle.

The communication from the club in recent weeks has been derogarty at best. This board has further disassociated themselves from the very lifeblood that keeps them in place. How dare they point the finger when they should be looking in the mirror.

Sorry for the rant. Great article and let's get behind the team tomorrow wherever we all are. They are what matters. Everton matter.

Kevin Molloy
26 Posted 03/02/2023 at 11:09:31

yes he does come across as a decent chap. I know he wasn't actually in the army, but he does remind me of a type for which the army was a career. That 'can do ' attitude I suppose. I should make clear I wasn't equating squaddies with murderers, it was tongue in cheek but perhaps in bad taste now I reflect on it.

Adam McCulloch
27 Posted 03/02/2023 at 11:33:14
Tony (17) Yeah as I think you’ve seen now, it was definitely a contentious game, with David Elleray having a bit of a shocker (interestingly, now the head of IFAB).

A large chunk of my family moved from Walton over to Chesterfield/Sheffield, so there’s quite a big contingent of blues in that area! And with that, we obviously bump into a lot of locals who worship Sean Dyche. Not only for the part he played in their side’s biggest moment, but for the way he carried himself on and off the pitch. He’s very well thought of, likewise by any Forest-following mates of mine.

I think his own self-assessment on getting the job (I wouldn’t be here if things were rosey) is telling. I don’t think any of us would have said that spending half a billion quid would leave us with Sean Dyche in charge. But for where we are and what we need, I’m happy to have him in our corner.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 03/02/2023 at 11:36:50
I hope so Dave because Woan, was very cultured and they must be very close, after sharing a house when they were at Burnley for many years.

I knew what you meant Kevin, because Dyche does come across as a doer, and without trying to not sound boring, if you watch the highlights of that Chesterfield semifinal, you will see Dyche starts the move for the sending off, with a 40 yard pass into the Centre forwards feet.

I expect DCL, to be the most worked player on the pitch, wants Dyche gets the players playing properly to his system, but I might be wrong, because I’ve never really studied his teams.

Dennis Stevens
29 Posted 03/02/2023 at 13:37:58
If Dyche can get a system working whereby Calvert-Lewin is actually scoring goals, I think we'll suddenly have a fit and motivated player up front.
Bill Griffiths
30 Posted 03/02/2023 at 14:00:21
Dennis (#29),

I agree with your comments re Calvert-Lewin. If Dyche can get him back to anywhere near his capabilities, then I think we have a great chance of beating the drop.

Might be a big ask though. I was/am a big fan of Calvert-Lewin. But since his return he has looked totally cluelesss and nothing like a footballer and appears to mistime every jump for a high ball.

Don't know if he had a mental problem given comments he has previously made but I hope Dyche can sort him out.

Danny Baily
31 Posted 03/02/2023 at 14:13:10
I reckon Dyche is a good fit for us. He seems to have the necessary character to keep hold of a dressing room. Although it doesn't always translate to new clubs for managers who've been long-established at their previous club. Curbishley, Moyes etc.

He'll probably be given time though, considering the circumstances.

Barry Hesketh
32 Posted 03/02/2023 at 14:21:19
The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express- Monday January 10, 1966

By Leslie Edwards

There can have been few more extraordinary home League debuts than that of Mike Trebilcock, the forward Everton signed from Plymouth Argyle. He failed completely to get into the game for much of the first half and then, when Pickering had mistimed an attempt at a big shot, the new boy stuck out his right foot and volleyed the ball gently towards the far upright. There, Wright, a full-back, brought off a one-handed save that would have done justice to any goalkeeper.

Referee Baldwin, of Middlesbrough, later to earn much opprobrium, gave the penalty: Withers saved brilliantly, but could not prevent Pickering scoring at the second attempt Villa protested that when Scott turned the ball across goal off Withers' initial save Pickering was in an offside position.

Their anger and protestations got them nowhere. A match which got less and less distinguished and which ended with two scenes, with a spectator on the playing pitch following one of them, was finally clinched when Trebilcock, picking up a through pass by Pickering strode on a few yards and then hit a stunning shot for a goal on his first home appearance.

This joyous score, plus the fact that only a full-back's handling prevented him from getting two goals, made his bow at Goodison Park notable: yet apart from this and from one clever flicked shot which rattle close to getting a goal from an impossible angle. Trebilcock was rarely seen. He hasn't the expertise at the moment to look a good First Division proposition, but to be fair one must give him his chance to settle down. (source: Everton Independent Research Data)

Just an example of how some people are born to do a particular thing in life, as we all know, Trebilcock, had a major impact on Everton's history just a few short months later.

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 03/02/2023 at 14:22:57
Derek Knox

"How many times have we heard in situations away from Football, in an emergency, an 8-stone woman lifting a car off a child or another adult, to save their lives, but never being able to replicate that feat after when tested?"

I watched a show last night where it was proposed that the human brain can emit radio/sound and electromagnetic waves like a TV aerial and therefore it was suggested that apparitions of ghosts, UFOs etc could be subconsciously created by us so we see what we expect to see when in haunted locations.

They even suggested sightings of the fictional Slenderman may be due to the widespread belief in the character and human's combined subconscious projections of him manifesting in real life.

With that having been said, if we have 40,000 at Goodison and millions around the world willing us to score. Surely it's just a matter of tapping into our subconscious and projecting an apparition of us scoring some goals?

The good thing is that, on this show, they said that cameras pick up apparitions more easily than the human eye as our brains eliminate "noise". So, if the ref doesn't see the phantom goal, the VAR definitely will.

There is also the option of use sound levitation to manipulate the ball.

Mark Taylor
34 Posted 03/02/2023 at 14:45:16
Although it was our last trophy, I felt embarrassed at the time by the mid-'90s 'Dogs of War' team but then I'm old enough to have lived through previous decades when we were, at times, one of the best football teams in England and arguably Europe. What I saw in the mid-'90s team was ugly fare by comparison.

I hoped, even believed that there would never be a time when I yearned for the 'dogs of war' but I was wrong; that time is now and if Dyche can re-awaken that spirit, it's our best – probably only – chance of getting out of this mess.

It's a free hit tomorrow. I'm not expecting to win, why would I, but I am hoping and expecting to hear the dogs barking…

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 03/02/2023 at 15:00:01
Mark, I remember coming home from some volatile country to watch Everton with my best mate during the Dogs of War period.

We religiously followed Everton for just about every match during the 80s.

He warned me that it isn't pretty to watch and I wouldnt like it. It wasn't and I didn't, and not just because of the result.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 03/02/2023 at 15:17:17
I'll talk to the dogs in the morning.

The boy barks at anything that moves and lately the foxes are winding him up, so he will be barking tomorrow before he comes back to listen to me and look at me with a confused face.

Will Mabon
37 Posted 03/02/2023 at 16:12:24
No embarrassment to be had in the semi-final that year, played as well as any team in the league and tore the media's dreams to shreds.

Dogs of War were not always so bad as painted.

Joe McMahon
38 Posted 03/02/2023 at 16:29:02
Mark@34, I felt the Dogs of War tag was harsh. Any team with Limpar and Kanchelskis can play the ball on the ground.

I'm not saying the football was pretty from '97 onwards, and unfortunately the very good player Gary Speed was sold, then it more or less has been downhill since then. Kenwright became Chairman and well err... we all know the pitiful rest.

Pete Clarke
39 Posted 03/02/2023 at 16:35:20
We have had a lot of managers in a short space of our recent history and only Ancelotti was one that didn't cause us to worry with one or two actually filling us with dread and embarrassment.

Moyes had taken us as far as he could although who knows with a bit more backing we may have done better. Kenwright involved of course but knives to a gunfight signalled the end way before betraying us with Kenwright 's blessing.

Martinez started off like a house on fire only to fall apart just as quick. He got a massive contract extension on the back of his start and that cost us a lot of money. Ultimately it was his lack of defensive coaching that cost him but the ramblings from him drove us all mad and he had to go.

Koeman came in as a big name in football and had been doing very well at Southampton. Our owner's dogged determination to get him seemed to put Koeman on a high pedestal in which he thought he was too big for us and showed zero passion for being at the club.

Can't blame too much on the owner for wanting him but to let him do what he wanted and waste so much money was downright reckless which cost us more millions when we had to get shut. He took the piss out of our blatant weak ownership and board.

Allardyce. How did this happen? Sheer panic, lack of ambition and thought for the club's profile by our owner and board on this one. Sam's results were decent of course because he knows the game well but could we go on watching his kind of football? Hopefully Dyche can repeat it.

Sam was too street-smart for our owner and board and it was another costly and embarrassing payoff for the club. Sam walked away with his pride intact and a pocket full of cash.

Marco Silva was a signing I agreed with. I liked the idea of a young up-and-coming manager for the long term. We had some good results under his spell but he definitely lost his way and the Liverpool defeat was the nail in his coffin.

Doing quite well now with Fulham and I think we may have let him go before he matured. Maybe a lesson in this one for us all.

Ancelotti. Well if big Sam was an embarrassing surprise this one was as good as it gets in football. Still don't know how it happened!

Carlo was not used to working with such bang-average players and dealing with idiots on the board though. He got some great results out of his team but with football that looked like big Sam had set it up. Very pragmatic but his percentage was very good and the few appearances by Rodriguez was worth his time with us alone.

I can only think that he was generally happy at Everton but saw no plan at board level to help him move forward but they in turn saw him as a miracle worker who didn't need money. Madrid opportunity gave him an out unfortunately.

How do we go from Ancelotti to Benitez? Only these idiots who own and run us can explain that one.

This appointment brought shame on our club and in the end almost brought the perfect gift to all Liverpool supporters with Benitez eventually dragging us into the relegation battle. Totally wrong on all accounts and heads should have rolled for this.

Frank Lampard. Great football name but still very raw as a manager. The board tried to blame us for this appointment but there were only 2 options anyway due to the board's ineptitude and to search for more suitable candidates.

We want all of our managers to do well of course but I felt this for Lampard more than anyone because I thought he would attract players of his own ilk to the club and have us playing like the teams he played in. Dream on Peter!

Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way and the shenanigans behind the scenes with who signs who and the board's lack of direction will never help any young manager. The pressure got to Frank and his lack of tactical skills showed through.

Bournemouth cup game was the end for me as he should have played a full team to get the win and confidence going. The board let us down by letting it go beyond that.

Sean Dyche. We can build him up all we want and talk about his down-to-earth ways and any other positive spin we can put out for him. He seems the perfect fit because we're in a tough situation and he looks like he came from the trenches himself.

Fact is that he's the only one brave enough to take this challenge on and we are desperate. He gets very well paid regardless of results.

He's got my backing because he's now our manager and he carries all of our hopes going into this relegation battle to get results that will keep us up but please remember that he's not a magician and he somehow has to reverse his thoughts that “This team don't know how to win”.

Barry Hesketh
40 Posted 03/02/2023 at 16:47:03
I was embarrassed by the football under Mike Walker, then by Walter Smith – although the Scotsman gets somewhat of a pass because of the lack of funds for much of his time here.

Joe Royle's team at least initially were competitive and able to ruffle feathers of quite a few teams, until it all went sour for Joe and for Everton.

However, the last three or four years have been totally embarrassing for many Evertonians because the players have seemed so passive and unable to rouse themselves to play for the shirt.

The fact we have had great numbers of various players with various levels of ability and they have failed to look like a 'team' on so many occasions during that time, is as unacceptable as it's embarrassing.

If Dyche and his coaching staff heralds the beginning of the 'Dogs of War' Part Two, the club might be able to climb out of its nosedive and who knows what that may lead to?

The next 18 matches are very important, with the main objective to try and stay up but also to help rid the club of the loser mentality that has been allowed to fester for far too long.

John Raftery
41 Posted 03/02/2023 at 16:50:38
Good article. Sean Dyche did extraordinarily well to keep Burnley in the Premier League for so long. Getting them into a Europa League qualifying place was remarkable for a club of their size and location.

I remember nearly running into him leaving a Youth Cup game at Goodison on a freezing Friday evening about 10 years ago. Subsequently, he signed Chris Long, arguably our best player from that team.

Chris never made it into the big time but what impressed me more than anything was Dyche being prepared to go out of his way see players in the flesh rather than rely on reports, data and TV footage.

That spoke of hard work and commitment; old school values, maybe, but something we desperately need in our current predicament.

Peter Neilson
42 Posted 03/02/2023 at 17:03:17
Regardless of views on whether he should have been in the running to be custodian, here’s a decent interview with Duncan Ferguson on taking up the Forest Green job. Link
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 03/02/2023 at 17:12:10
They play Morecombe next Saturday, Peter, so it wouldn't surprise me if a few Evertonians end up going to this game.
Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 03/02/2023 at 17:13:49
Adam, this is a superb piece of work. You're a helluva good writer.

And Tony A., your perspectives on Dyche are highly valued. You're always a good resource, my friend, but this week in particular.

Alan McGuffog
45 Posted 03/02/2023 at 17:50:42
Barry 32... I remember being at that game with my mates.

The other Villa full-back that day was a real yard dog called Charlie Aitken. It all got a trifle fractious.

Jay Harris
46 Posted 03/02/2023 at 18:50:05
I have always said we need a champion and some inspiration. Frank obviously couldn't do it but I have every hope that Dyche can turn the confidence and motivation of this squad around.

Whether he can handle the "elite" players remains to be seen…

Mark Taylor
47 Posted 03/02/2023 at 20:35:27
Joe 38

My recollection was that Kanchelskis joined after the Cup Final win and it was that game in my mind when I think of the dogs of war. You're right about Limpar, a fine player and I thought he was our stand out player in that final, the others were not at his level.

It was a very brief fling with Kanchelskis but an enjoyable one. He was arguably the last truly world class player we signed and also perhaps provided our first exposure to the Russian mafia, a topic we can now consider ourselves experts on!

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 03/02/2023 at 20:43:30

Correct. When Kanchelskis joined Everton he was asked why he would want to leave Man Utd and he said something to the effect that "all I know is Everton just beat United in the cup final."

As to the Dogs of War tag, I thought it originated early on when we had Ebbrell, Horne, Parkinson and Hinchcliffe in midfield like against the RS when Limpar was a sub. Over time Limpar forced his way into the starting 11.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 03/02/2023 at 21:10:32
Barry (32), Re Mike Trebilcock, he amused me when he first came to Everton with the way he celebrated scoring a goal, in a reserve game he scored a goal and ran about forty or fifty yards jumping about, I don’t think he celebrated his two goals in the cup final with any more joy!!
Andy Crooks
50 Posted 03/02/2023 at 21:50:03
Adam, one if the best pieces I have read on this site. The fact it is endorsed by some of the best folk I have ever met is a credit to you. Dyche will do for me.
Dave @49, you know my late dad was a Sheffield Wednesday fan and how I became a Blue. Mike Trebilcock changed my life.
Hope to see you soon, Dave, by the way.
Andy Crooks
51 Posted 03/02/2023 at 21:59:59
Oh, by the way, Kevin Molloy @14, that's quite uncanny. I feel like I know him. Nearest I can get is that he turned me away from nightclubs in the early eighties. Always in an arm round the shoulder, but firm way. I always shook his hand and thanked him for excluding me.
Paul Tran
52 Posted 04/02/2023 at 17:26:38
Great piece Adam, completely agree with you.
Jerome Shields
53 Posted 05/02/2023 at 14:01:15
Dyche is different. He has separated himself from the Board and Moshiri and totally embraced the Football side and the Fans.The win against Arsenal is a victory for that.The Board not being there and using a made up excuse to stay away has actually isolated them further and distanced Dyche from their actions.To some extent this was already happening under Frank,being Fan lead.But now the Manager is fully on board with the Fans and seems to know his football.He is not dependent on the Board.The Board really thought that Arsenal where going to hammer Everton and took their decision on that bases.

This is a really different situation than anything that has gone before.Dyche to be able to carry this off, shows himself to not only a shrewd manager, but very astute in positioning him in the right situation right in the middle of a Crisis.He has actually mastered the situation.

It is interesting that he calls himself a Custodian.It is a acknowledge of the Everton Traditional and his part in maintaining it.He is very determined to be a positive Custodian and comes across as some who has really bought into the role.Something that Adam who has watched Dyche progress for years has highlighted ,since Chesterfield.

'Cometh the moment,Cometh the man.'

-an idiom often used to describe the phenomenon that when a hero is needed, one appears.

Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 05/02/2023 at 18:59:42
Andy (50), It will be a pleasure Andy to see you again, yes I remember your story very well, a young boy of about seven or eight asking your dad if it was okay to support the team his own team was playing n the FA cup final !! Took some nerve that Andy.

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