What the hell happened to Everton on Thursday night? We were told to expect a reaction! Well we got one didn’t we? Paul Chaloner picks the bones out of a difficult evening as an Evertonian.
Having slept on it, I hope to offer a different perspective from the negativity that swarmed all over Facebook and Twitter last night, but I can’t.
There have been numerous performances such as last nights in the past. Off the top of my head the Tranmere one springs immediately to mind, that run of FA cup and league cup defeats in the 90’s and 00’s with York City and Shrewsbury prominent. The Mike Walker year and 1998 league campaigns spring to mind as well.
1980/81 also had its share of crap and I remember Millwall at home in the early 70s, I think I was 11 at the time, it shocked me at the time as even though we were poor I was young enough to expect us to win every week. Relatively recent defeat in the FA Cup to Wigan not forgetting of course the recent annual ‘rolling over to Liverpool’ event, which has become a ritual and which I fully expect to continue this year.
The Keeley Derby probably being the worst and to this day the only match I’ve ever left early (a whole 22 minutes to be exact but justified by missing the last goal). Yet last night feels so much worse. Only probably Stek and Rooney, who always tries, could be spared. Maybe one or two other youngsters got dragged into the malaise as well. So why was last night so bad?
To me it was the expectation and hope. It kills you. Roughly £150 million spent and we look worse than last season. There is something very deeply wrong at the club when a boyhood blue wants to leave and will reportedly take a pay cut to do so.
It’s too easy to blame Koeman losing the dressing room, it seems every time a manager seems to be struggling, someone wheels out that line, maybe he has? The home results this year have in the main been good with only Spurs having a better record until they turned up to destroy us last Saturday. What has happened then since April?
The signs were there with the team finishing the season a few games early last season with insipid performances to say the least. Away performances remained poor and following over in the derby continued. Knowing your main striker, who can pretty much guarantee you 20 goals a season, was leaving as early as March yet failing to replace him looks more and more like a major mistake. Even Defoe would have done for a year! As I’ve said before, if Koeman’s plan to play without a recognised target man doesn’t work, he’s offered the doubters a stick to beat him with.
That time appears to have arrived.
I can live with poor performances, I’ve had to for 55 years. I can’t live with not trying and Rooney apart, they didn’t look like they wanted to be there. Some are blaming Kenwright, some say Koeman has lost the players, some blame the players themselves.
It seems that Koeman was trying to break the world record for having players ‘in a hole’ given the amount of number 10’s he has bought. No pace, no width, no confidence, no strike force = no chance of breaking our trophy less years. Even Keane, who looked a great buy a month ago looks devoid of confidence and is clearly struggling.
Is it a crisis? If nothing’s done soon it will be. Manchester United on Sunday is a worrying thought as is a very poor Sunderland next week, at which point I’m reminded that there are more re important things than football. Last night was embarrassing. We are being laughed at “they can’t be trusted with money”. I’m well aware that having written this, we could turn everything around and go on a winning streak having overcome our toughest start to a league program I can remember. I’m also aware that Howard Kendall could well have lost his job just before the most successful spell in the clubs history, but then he did have Sharp and Gray!
Sorry about the negativity here but I challenge anyone to write something positive at the moment and it’s seriously good to get it off your chest and share with people who understand. I live in hope that the new regime sorts this out asap and success is round the corner, but it truly is the hope and expectation that kills you. We had a glimmer of hope this summer and it’s been snatched away in an embarrassing fashion, but we are Everton and we will always be here. Like many other clubs supporters, our fans could change clubs given such a bad start to the season, but we don’t, it’s a lifelong thing.
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