BIG DUNC: Everton legend Duncan Ferguson has been made caretaker manager following the sacking of Rafa Benitez. AFP Photo
One step forward, a million back. That just about sums up the general goings on at Everton Football Club these days.
It’s not a good time to be a Blue. One win in 13, defeat last week to the team at the bottom of the league, and languishing perilously close to the relegation zone.
Rafa Benitez got the bullet, and for the time being, club legend Duncan Ferguson has taken charge of the first team.
Next up for Everton is Aston Villa, and with former Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard in charge, more salt could be very well rubbed into Everton’s already gaping wound.
But the problem for the Blues isn’t really about the next game, or the one after that, and after that. Everton’s long-term problems are nothing short of gargantuan right now.
I accept there’s money being spent on a new stadium, and from the artist’s impression I’ve seen of the design, it looks amazing.
But Everton’s problems go beyond a few wins over the next few weeks.
I’ve no doubt Big Dunc will get the crowd buzzing, but the issues at Goodison Park are far more deep routed. Everton, I feel, have completely lost their identity. They have become a nothing, meaningless club.
There was talk this week that one name in the frame for the manager’s position is Roberto Martinez, the current manager of the Belgium national team and, of course, former manager of Everton.
Word on the street is the Belgium football authorities are unlikely to allow their national team manager to do both jobs, but the fact that he was even being considered speaks volumes for the lack of ambition currently displayed by Everton.
Martinez won nothing with Everton, and after an OK points tally in his first season (with a team almost entirely inherited from previous boss David Moyes) the former Wigan manager just went from bad to worse.
As his tenure was coming to an end, supporters had become disillusioned and made their anger known.
What followed after Martinez was basically a revolving door of managers who came and went without so much as threatening to bring back the glory days to Goodison.
Money was spent as well, a lot, and the backing from the board has been decent, especially compared to other mid-table Premier League teams.
But the cash was spent really badly, and now it’s Everton supporters that are paying the price.
Other names have been mentioned, Frank Lampard, Jose Mourinho, former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac, and even Wayne Rooney.
Rooney is doing wonders in his current job with Derby County, his first in management, but I feel he still lacks the experience to take over at Everton.
None of what I’ve written here will really bring any hope to the Everton faithful, but I don’t know what I can say to change that.
Everton are lost, a shadow of their former selves, and are light years away from getting anywhere close to challenging for trophies.
Whoever does get the job is going to be in for a real eyeopener when he walks into Goodison Park, so maybe their best bet is to give Duncan Ferguson a chance.
Unlikely they will get relegated this season, there are still three teams or more worse than Everton, but at least with Big Dunc he knows the job at hand.