Never felt more like singing the blues

February 03, 2023 - 12:17
Everton Football Club are a team in disarray. There’s no way to sugarcoat the issues going on at Goodison Park.
TOUGH TIMES: Sean Dyche has a big job on his hands to keep Everton in the Premier League this season. Photo courtesy of Everton FC

Paul Kennedy

Everton Football Club are a team in disarray. There’s no way to sugarcoat the issues going on at Goodison Park.

Currently sitting joint bottom of the Premier League with Southampton, there’s a serious threat they will be relegated this season.

Sean Dyche has been named their new manager following the sacking of Frank Lampard and the former Burnley boss has a gargantuan task ahead of him to ensure Premier League survival.

In fact, they’d probably have been better off appointing Harry Houdini, the Hungarian-American magician famous for making miraculous escapes.

Everton’s next two league games are a home match against high-flying Arsenal followed by a trip to their bitter rivals Liverpool.

Lose those, and results go against them in other matches involving the teams languishing dangerously close to the drop zone, and I wonder if the writing really is on the wall for the boys in blue.

But let’s face facts here, they’ve only got themselves to blame. I’ve not enough space in this column to list all the managers who have graced Goodison Park with their presence over the last 10 years or so, but two names stand out that you may well have forgotten about with all the comings and goings.

Both Ronald Koeman, the current national team boss of the Netherlands, and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, tried and failed to make a go of things at Everton.

If the club couldn’t succeed with either of those two at the helm, then Heaven help their new manager.

Maybe it’s time they go back to the drawing board, and maybe relegation isn’t such a bad option after all.

If Everton were to drop down to the Championship, I’ve no doubt they would bounce straight back into the Premier League the following season.

Don’t forget, at the end of the last campaign they hung on only by the skin of their teeth, thanks in part to a massive effort from their supporters to elevate the players on the pitch.

They are about to move into a new stadium, and there is clearly financial backing from owner Farhad Moshiri who has spent big on the new ground, and, albeit not so much of late, has backed the manager in the transfer market.

Their long-suffering supporters are going nowhere, and will get behind their team whether they are playing Liverpool or Preston North End.

They recently sold home-grown talent Anthony Gordon to Newcastle for a bucket full of cash and although the January transfer window has slammed shut, they need to think about reinvesting that cash next season.

But whether the new players will be plying their trade in the Premier League or the EFL Championship remains to be seen.

I fear the latter. VNS