The life of an Evertonian, you just wouldn’t wish it upon anyone would you. Where the fuck to start with this one.
Three months ago I sat down and wrote an excitable, enthusiastic and optimistic article about Everton FC; the piece was entitled ‘the shackles are off’ – pointing at how the Toffees had signed well during the summer, how our recruitment had been head-turning, the feeling was good at Goodison Park and how I was looking ahead full of promise to the 2017/18 season, a season which had huge potential for the Club we all love. After a decent maiden campaign under Koeman, Steve Walsh doing his stuff as Director of Football, and our infrastructure changing for the better following Farhad Moshiri’s arrival, I hadn’t felt this upbeat for a while about my Club, but fast forward 12 weeks, here I am again writing this shite, and the words ‘exciting, enthusiastic and optimistic’ couldn’t be further from how I am feeling right now as Everton find themselves in the relegation zone for the first time in 12 years, bottom of their Europa League group and with the current mood around the Club an unbearable one. I’ve bided my time in the hope that the early blips would resolve themselves or the results would change but now I can’t bottle it up anymore, I’ve seen nothing in the past few weeks and months that give me any sort of belief Koeman can turn this around. In fact I feel quite stupid about getting so overexcited in the summer, and if anything sums up being a blue then this is it – I feel stupid for being optimistic? It’s ridiculous. I should have known should I, especially after 30 years of this. Ronald Koeman told us when we were being positive to be realistic, well now I certainly am.
Only Everton can spend £150 million and break all sorts of records in doing so, but still find themselves in the mire. Forgive me if there is still a long way to go in the season and you may ‘have seen a lot worse than this lad’ during your time, I don’t really care, I want better for my Club and I don’t want to wait anymore for success. If you are happy to take pride in ‘seeing worse than this’ or supporting a club who ‘don’t sack their managers’ then well done to you, I personally want Everton to be successful and won’t stand for mediocrity, and if this means managers being dismissed then so be it. I do remain optimistic about the long term future of our Club however the current situation is like a kick in the balls and it hurts.
Our form of late has been unacceptable and our latest blow came today in a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal, who’ve been shite away from home all season let’s not forget. Koeman is all out of ideas, his (and Walsh’s) failure to seal the deal on key signings in the summer have well and truly hurt him already and his tactics, formations and team selections are now met with despair – not to mention the results that have inevitably followed. There’s just something not right at this Club, is it Koeman, is it the players, is it a mentality issue, is it Kenwright or Moshiri, many people are pointing fingers but nobody is taking any responsibility.
When Martinez went, things had rapidly declined at Everton FC and our Board let it get spiteful before they took action, many say it was too late. From the initial buzz of a 5th place finish things soon turned from bad to worse with two successive bottom half finishes and an awful exit from Europe the significant factors. Martinez lost the Club in the end, but it took time for it to get that bad, however now it appears that Koeman isn’t too far off this himself in a much shorter time period. In fact I’d go as far as to say he’s lost the majority of the fans already judging from what I am seeing or hearing, but correct me if I’m wrong. Koeman doesn’t really seem that arsed about it all, recently his comments have been a borderline delusional and it’s almost as if Koeman believes he’s above Everton FC because he’s Ronald Koeman. With all due respect it doesn’t matter who you are and how big your stature is in the game, if you can’t manage properly, eespecially after spending big, then you’ll quickly be found out. If all of our fans can name a team that doesn’t read disjointed in its layout on a fuckin formation predictor on Twitter then why can’t he do the same? Play the players in the right positions and you’ll at least buy yourself a bit more patience from the fans who pay your wages. Is Koeman too stubborn like Martinez?
The difference between the two in terms of attitude is that Martinez bought into the Club, he embraced it, and that went down well with many fans, it may have actually bought him some more tome. Koeman on the other hand hasn’t really taken to Everton and you could say many Evertonians have not taken to him from the off. The Blues I’m speaking to nowadays just want rid, there’s not many who want to give him anymore time – in fact many of them wanted him out months ago. I haven’t been shouting round for Koeman to be sacked and it takes a lot for me to want a guy out of his job, but I believe this has to now be the case if Everton are going to salvage anything from this season. I don’t see passion, enthusiasm or a desire to turn this around from Koeman. The sword falls with the manager I’m afraid and if he can’t get this talented bunch of players to perform then I’m not willing to hang around to see what happens this season and for him to potentially spend another fortune for us to underperform next season too. Get shut and get someone in to sort this crop out and give our fans a lift, because at the moment we are drifting into the wilderness.
In these modern times and it may sound horrible to say it but managers come and go, if Everton want to show their intent then a decision needs to be made and made soon. People may not like how football is now – and I’ll use the Leicester owners as an example – however if we are to move with the times, state our ambition on the pitch and off it, then our Board need to show that they won’t stand for this type of inept performance from an Everton Manager, they need to act accordingly and move on from this period of disappointment. I know there’ll be blues reading this proud that their Club don’t just sack managers and they are all for giving people time and that’s fair enough I’ll respect you, but I’m not the same, I’m too young to have witnessed glory days and I’m a fan of a club who plies its trade in the most demanding and financially powerful league in the world. If a player is in poor form he gets benched, rested or even sold, unless he can turn his form around, if a team and squad are in poor form then the book stops with the manager, he goes unless he can turn it around, and nothing tells me Ronald Koeman can.
There’s currently no enjoyment about Everton whatsoever, even after a positive summer and impressive strides off the pitch, not one single person inside Goodison or on that pitch, bench or wherever is happy and the gloom is just increasing. Our players look unhappy, uncoached and unsure, our tactics leave us taring your hair out and the void which has been left by not signing a significant striker has fucked that many fans off it is literally the first thing they talk about when it comes to Everton. We all knew Lukaku was in a class of his own, we all knew we’d probably need two players to even attempt to replace his goals, but what do we do, end up signing about 56 midfielders even though Tom Davies is probably better than most of them, and we find ourselves relying on a striker in Niasse who never had a squad number or a locker till the other week and a kid in Calvert-Lewin who’s been well and truly lashed in at the deep end. Central players being played out wide, a lack of width, depth, lack of targets, lack of leadership (which is something I thought we had signed more of!) the Rooney / Sigurdsson conundrum, Klaassen benched, Lookman AWOL, the right back position, Ashley Williams playing like he should be turning out in the Liverpool Veteran’s League, Leighton Baines unable to make a forward pass, Schneiderlin running around like a shadow of himself, Barkley circus, Mirallas relationship, the list goes on and on. Some supporters suggesting the likes of Sandro and Klaassen need time to adapt – to those fans I’d say two words – Nikola Vlasic. Unforgivable mistakes, leaking goals and unable to sustain any pressure on the opposition goal, apart from one or two glimmers of hope, Rooney chipping in with a few goals and Jordan Pickford being absolutely quality in goal there’s nothing to keep Evertonians interested and not enough signs that things will improve.
It got to the point under Martinez where I couldn’t stomach his press conferences, I’d made my mind up and I wanted him gone, and I have to admit that after the events of the past few months and more specifically our last four fixtures, I’m at that point with Koeman now too. Of course I wanted Koeman to succeed and if he turns things around then I’ll gladly eat my words, however I don’t think he should be given anymore time, anymore chances, and I don’t think there is any way he can come back from this recent terrible run. Our Board have to finally stand up and show that even though we may be seen as nice Everton who do things the right way, we still mean business. It is simply not good enough and we need to act now.
A key moment for me was when Wayne Rooney equalised at Brighton the other week, as much as I love Everton I felt no emotion, almost like it didn’t happen, and this has come from the feeling I have towards them currently under Koeman. In the past I may have been more patient towards an Everton Manager but now I’m not, we’re meant to be on the up and going in the right direction but we are currently devoid of any direction, we look mismanaged and in need of a lift, a lift which will ultimately come from a crucial decision being made. I have faith that if Farhad Moshiri has the final say then we will see a positive outcome, however with Kenwright still present I’ll always have my reservations, they may let this one struggle along a little longer before calling time on Koeman’s reign. In terms of a potential replacement it isn’t my job to sit here and name a successor, if Koeman does lose his job then that will be a decision for then, and in my opinion that needs to be sooner rather than later.