This season has been a tough one for Everton fans. Empowered by the riches snared from the sale of Romelu Lukaku and buoyed by some class (on paper anyway) signings such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen, it should have been a season to remember for Evertonians.
Instead, it turned into one completely free of distinction. Five defeats in the opening nine games including a dreadful five-two home capitulation to Arsenal saw boss Ronald Koeman later consulting the ‘situations vacant’ notices. The not-at-all-dodgy Sam Allardyce was appointed in his wake and set about slowly grinding the Toffeemen up the table into a respectable but hardly thrilling eighth position, quietly making sure that the side suffered nothing as distracting as a cup run with swift exits out of the FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League.
Of those big new boys only Pickford can look back on his performances with a sense of pride. Both Keane and Sigurdsson have been hit-and-miss, and the less said about Klaassen the better.
So, how have Everton fans coped with a season duller than listening to Classic FM on a radio with one broken speaker? By consuming copious amounts of alcohol – or at least that’s what a survey by FootballTips.com says.
Everton fans consume (on average) forty-three units of alcohol per week, according to the survey. That’s around nineteen pints of lager, or if you’re a bit posh, four bottles of wine … or if you’re from the West Country, just over sixteen pints of cider.
It’s also over three times the weekly recommended limit of fourteen units per week. This means, officially, that supporting Everton is bad for your health and could cause a vast range of issues with your body.
The survey quizzed 2,400 football supporters based in the UK, evenly split over all twenty English Premier League sides. Everton fans came out on top, followed by Crystal Palace fans at forty units per week, perhaps leaving a clear message that having your side managed by a former England boss is detrimental to your health.
Chelsea fans have paid the price for their lacklustre season under Antonio Conte by upping their drinking to thirty-five units per week, while Tottenham fans must be disappointed that they’ve failed to mount a serious title challenge this season as they are next on the list at thirty-four units per week.
You’d think that the connection between football and alcohol is so enshrined that every supporter, on average, would drink over or at least close to the recommended weekly limit, but that does not seem to be the case. The supporters of seven teams all drink, on average, just enough to keep their health in tip-top shape, with Leicester City fans being the most abstinent supporters at a mere four units per week – that’s under two pints of beer.
Despite Big Sam’s ‘success’ it seems unlikely that Allardyce is wanted by Everton fans at Goodison Park next season, with names such as Marco Silva and Arsene Wenger being mooted as his replacement. Let’s hope whomever takes charge, they’ll be successful enough to stop Everton fans from hitting the bottle quite so hard.