Lucky For Some?

by   |   06/08/2023  26 Comments  [Jump to last]

I remember the joys of pre-seasons past. An absence of ridiculous, fictional speculation. Well-tanned, overweight players showing their lack of fitness against never heard of opponents. The anticipation of a new season, full of hope and aspirations. Great days, eh?

Well, I’m still optimistic. The sad news is that optimism is based on us staying up, not European qualification, winning a cup. Staying up. That’s all you need to know about the leadership of Young Mr Grace and The Oligarch’s Mate.

What’s my optimism based on? A few simple facts. Last season we were a mid-table team, badly managed and coached. From the end of January till May, we were a mid-table team better managed and coached.

Despite a standing start, with barely a striker/goalscorer in the squad, Dyche found a way of keeping the team up. Nothing special involved, simply getting the team fitter, instilling a good mindset, keeping its shape and getting the ball into areas where we could score – even though we were woefully short of goalscorers. I know Leeds and Leicester supporters who wish they’d got Dyche before we did.

A full season based on Dyche’s results from January would have had us finishing 12th or 13th.

My thinking is that, with a full pre-season, better fitness from the off, and please God, a finisher in addition to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, what’s going to make us do worse? Only a potential points deduction for this season, in my view.

This isn’t a celebration, it’s nowhere near good enough for us as a club. Someone has to steady the ship. I think Sean Dyche is the man for the job. Whether he can do more than that, nobody knows, but for now I’ll settle for a steadier ship, playing with purpose and a more defined identity of play.

I think we’ll finish 13th with the caveat that an immediate hefty points deduction would scupper things. But even in that case, I’d suggest the lawyers will drag it out to next season, or get it chucked out completely.

13th. Lucky for some?

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Reader Comments (26)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 06/08/2023 at 19:43:06

I think 13th would suit a big majority of the fanbase at the moment with the way the squad stands. Hopefully a few more players will be added soon, the quicker the better.

With some easy games at the start of the season, we can start to accumulate some points and ease the pressure of impending relegation from the beginning of the season, hopefully strengthening the squad further in January with more players in and out to even get a good cup run!

Steve Cotton
2 Posted 06/08/2023 at 19:49:13
Any odds on Kenwright or Moshiri turning up for the opening game??

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:05:44
Steve (2),

It looked like Chairman Bill's seat and three or four next to it were occupied at yesterday's game. I don't know who occupied those seats.

Paul Tran
4 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:10:14
Yes, Dave, I think this fits into Moshiri's original Benitez plan of three cheap, boring seasons till we reach the new stadium. We've got a much better manager now, even though I'm convinced Moshiri didn't want him and would replace him at a stroke if we had more money to waste.

A cup run would be wonderful, wouldn't it? I hope we take them seriously this season.

Paul Tran
5 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:11:55
I'm sure, if you ring a bookie up, they'd give you some odds, Steve. I suspect it would be a decent price, as surely the 'threat' remains?
Brent Stephens
6 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:16:35
Dave, my guess was that one seat (next to Bill's) was occupied by Colin Chong, interim CEO.
Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:22:51
I spoke to Dyche during the pre-season of his last year at Burnley and probably jinxed him, Paul, because he ended up getting the sack.

He's an arl mate, so I told him I thought he had done brilliant to have the career that he has had, but I thought he needed to go and win the cup, to get the recognition he really deserved.

Maybe he will go and win the cup for Everton, something I've always been convinced will happen as soon as Bill Kenwright leaves Everton!

If Kenwright stays and Everton win the cup, then maybe it's me who has been the jinx?

I'd stay away forever if it meant the fantastic Evertonians, started seeing some silverware, especially the ones who have seen us win nothing, and have already stood the test of time.

Paul Tran
8 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:30:22
I think he stayed at Burnley a bit too long, Tony. He was unlikely to get another Premier League job, because these new rich owners tend to like 'big name', 'cerebral' non-British coaches who often can't man-manage.

Last time we won the cup, I won hospitality tickets off the London Evening Standard. I'd happily watch us win the cup with all those happy faces from the comfort of the living room.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:59:07
Dyche probably had to play a certain way because he always had the lowest budget in the Premier League, Paul.

After watching clips of Lewis Dobbin playing at Goodison against that Italian side, I couldn't believe he never got any game time yesterday.

With regards Everton winning the cup, you could lock me in a room with no television if it meant Evertonians could finally dance around Wembley once again, mate.

Paul Tran
10 Posted 06/08/2023 at 21:09:03
He did come on near the end, Tony. I wonder if Dyche was rationing everyone's time on the pitch. He's been very effusive about Dobbin's preseason performances.
Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 06/08/2023 at 21:28:29
I didn't know that, Paul; thanks, mate. I was sure I read someone say he was totally bombed out on ToffeeWeb, but I should have checked for myself.

If you're good enough, you're old enough, doesn't seem to be as prevalent in the modern-day Premier League. Dobbin looks like an exciting player and we haven't got too many of these types, so hopefully Dyche gives him a fair crack, and hopefully the kid does well.

Jerome Shields
12 Posted 07/08/2023 at 08:11:15

I think your hopes for the season are realistic. Any hopes for a new board and numerous replacements this Summer were unrealistic.

I now notice that media reports of Kenwright staying on temporarily have stretched to the whole of next season. The MSP deal has stalled, never mind Director appointments, and we are getting our usual Summer transfer window pattern on a budget.

Tony Everan
13 Posted 07/08/2023 at 13:41:56
Paul, on Ian’s thread I said 12th the conte was about 14th, the majority are thinking along the same lines. A lot depends on the next three weeks and luck with injuries.

I haven’t got much hair left to pull out, but I’m removing what’s left over our striker issue again. But I think we’ll get more strength in depth before September. Also, I’ve got a hunch that Dyche maybe playing games saying DCL won’t be ready for Fulham.

By Friday that sentiment may well change to ‘he’s had a really good week’ and we’ll make a decision Saturday morning. Keep Fulham guessing, manufacture a confidence a boost for the team and crowd. Or I may be barking up the wrong tree!

Barry Hesketh
14 Posted 07/08/2023 at 13:55:30
Jerome @12,

I have no reas on to disbelieve you when you say that Kenwright will remain as Chair until the whole of next season (I assume you mean 2023-24) and that the MSP deal has stalled, according to 'media reports'.

It would be more than helpful if you could cite those reports. Did you see it on TV, hear it on the Radio, read it in a newspaper or was it something other than social media tittle-tattle?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
15 Posted 07/08/2023 at 14:13:35
Far too much optimism here.

Compared to Previous Season
Lampard P 20 points gained compared to previous season = -3
Dyche P 18 points gained compared to previous season = 0

Lampard more goals scored compared to previous season = -5
Dyche more goals scored compared to previous season = 0

Lampard more goals conceded compared to previous season = -9
Dyche P 18 points gained compared to previous season = 0

Did he really do anything but stop us getting worse? He was no better than Beneathus/Lampard's performance from the previous year (thanks to +3 from the Bournemouth game).

Paul Tran
16 Posted 07/08/2023 at 14:23:27
Tony, you could be right about Dyche and DCL. He's not explicitly said he's not playing. Always keep your opponent thinking.

We'll get reinforcements. We were always likely to do business later due to our financial constraints and the competitive nature of the market. I suspect outgoings will be later too. Everyone's trying to chisel a good deal and the deadline is what forces these issues.

Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 07/08/2023 at 14:37:24
I think we're in much better shape now. Last year we got roasted four nil by Adrian Heath, this year we've beaten sporting and looked pretty strong esp when you consider how many we had out. Ashley Young looks a great signing, and I think Onana and Garner will be much better this year. You would have to think also that Patterson will continue to improve. And the league is weaker, with Luton and Sheff U.
Barry Hesketh
18 Posted 07/08/2023 at 14:40:14
Phil @15
If either Benitez or Lampard hadn't have been replaced we might already have begun this season in the championship, or worse.

Dyche is I agree another of those, dour, pragmatic types and not what many Evertonians would want in different times.

However, we have a manager who realises what a mess this club is in, and he's practical enough to know that any point gained by this particular Everton squad, will be priceless.

If you know of any of those fancier managers who can get Everton playing thrilling attacking, free-scoring football, with the current squad, whilst having their hands tied behind their backs, due to the financial mess we are in, I'm certain we'd all like to know who that person is.

Paul Tran
19 Posted 07/08/2023 at 14:40:16
You're right, Phil. He arrested our decline. Given where we were when he took the job, I'd call what he did an improvement. Bet he wishes he had the option of playing Richarlison, eh?

This season will tell us more about what he can do with a pre-season and transfer window. Something both his predecessors had.

Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 07/08/2023 at 15:10:56
dyche has done an excellent job and the pre-season games show that we are much the same as the end of last season. Compact, hard-working, and organised.
If DCL plays half of our games and we find a back-up like Adams or Keiffer Moore, then finishing mid-table is possible.
We might need a bit of luck with injuries though because our squad still needs bolstering.
James Hughes
22 Posted 07/08/2023 at 15:46:07
Phil. Yes he stopped the decline and that was what the side needed.

In the short time he has been in charge he seems to have stopped walking through our midfield at will. The team has been creating chances far more than under Super Frank or Beneathus.

In other posts on here, I have concerns about his youth progression and his lack of faith in them.
However for now. I think we will not be looking at drop next May 2024

In memory of the MIA Darren, I have bought a new kite and grass skirt, Also will on behalf of the team start my happy clapping.

If Kenwright could depart that would would be amazing, An absent board for the start of the season is not a good look or possibly luck!

Michael Lynch
23 Posted 07/08/2023 at 15:52:34
I'd take anything other than another relegation battle.

What I'd really like to know, is what the fuck is happening? Where's the investment? How long is Kenwright going to remain as Chairman? Where is the massive change that Dyche asked for?

We are being treated like mugs yet again. We need to regroup as a fan base and turn the screw like we did last season.

Support the team at every match, but demand change at the top every single day.

Steve Cotton
24 Posted 07/08/2023 at 15:57:51
The only person who speaks to us is Dyche and he only tells us so much. Obviously if he was vocal about the shit level of updates from the board it could well affect his 3m bonus for keeping us up...
Mark Murphy
25 Posted 07/08/2023 at 16:00:30
My missus is gutted the football starts this weekend. She’s never seen me so relaxed as the last few weeks. She’s already noticed the glaring at koppites in Tescos and the steering towards the plastic manc on his pushbike!
Everton do yer head in!
David Bromwell
26 Posted 07/08/2023 at 16:49:44
I watched a rather boring Charity Shield yesterday but the resources available to the two Managers far exceeded anything we have at Everton and the thing that concerns me is we still seem far away from having a settled 11 let alone having adequate back up.
Already we will have to start the season without certain key players and it's not clear who will be available to deputise. It's all very last minute and it seems likely that the Manager will be forced to make some last minute selections and will be unlikely to have a full bench of substitutes. New season or not, we will be starting the campaign with very much a scratch squad of players and once again a very hard season lies ahead.
Jerome Shields
27 Posted 09/08/2023 at 07:14:24
Barry #14,

I read a lot of media on Everton.Too many to mention. Recently I have come across the above changes in the trend and this seems to be bore out with what is happening on the ground. It also consistent with how Everton have leaked media reports in the past to manage the Everton narrative.

The way the transfer window is moving is typical Kenwright and Dyche is evolving into a more Moyes type role. Moshiri is highly dependent on Kenwright. Whilst the MSP deal appears to be done and a loan maybe secured (yet to be confirmed by accounts), it has not evolved beyond that.

The club appears to be being run exactly as you would expect under a Board dominated by Kenwright and Moshiri, with Dyche as a manager to suit.

Any confidence I have is to do with what Dyche can do. This is what I see as the reality of the situation,

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