Has there ever been a less popular Everton squad and manager?
Yesterday I stood at The Emirates Stadium and saw blues file out of the ground after 20 minutes of a match. I’d never seen fans leave so early and whether you agree with it or not, surely you couldn’t blame a single one of them for leaving in disgust.
Evertonians consistently sell-out away allocations and over the last 13 months, this gang of individuals we loosely call ‘a team’ has rewarded that fantastic away support with a single Premier League victory away from Goodison Park (photo below in case you thought I made that up).
Now before I get on my high horse, let me be very clear on this… I’m not one of these supporters who’s unrealistic in his outlook when it comes to Everton. I’m fully aware we aren’t a top side and I’m fully aware we haven’t won a trophy in well over 20 years, so please trust me, I’m not one of these fans who thinks we’re entitled to win games just because we are Everton.
Yet, the fact remains, this is the most expensively assembled Everton squad in our long history and for that, we’re getting worse performances than when we barely had a single pound to spend in the transfer market. I’m sure none of us want a return to those dark days, but at least back then, the players actually gave 100% for the shirt. 100% for each other. 100% for the fans.
Instead, what we witnessed yesterday in the first half was an absolute disgrace, I don’t see how anybody can dress it up any other way. From top to bottom, everybody associated with that first half performance at The Emirates should be thoroughly ashamed.
You could tell watching from the first minute that it was a matter of time before Arsenal would score. 5 defenders were lined up on our 18 yard box and when you allow a side like Arsenal to probe around the penalty area, they will break you down and score. Anybody who has watched Premier League football could tell you that – yet our manager, a veteran of over 1000 games, seemed to believe this was the correct way to set up.
As if the set-up wasn’t bad enough, what made it so much worse was the manner of the goals we conceded. It wasn’t like Arsenal cut us open with scintillating football – every single goal they scored could’ve been avoided and would’ve been avoided had Arsenal been playing against other teams who can do the basics of defending correctly…
– Mangala should be first to the cross that results in the first goal. Keane is behind him but he misses it too. Tap in.
– Williams shouldn’t be losing headers from a corner and if he does, somebody should be picking up the other Arsenal centre half. There’s nobody there. Tap in.
– Players shouldn’t be afforded time to shoot from 20 yards out. Not when you have 3 centre halves and 2 defensive midfield players playing.
And that’s it, 3-0 and game well and truly over. We can basically forget the other 2 goals we conceded, despite 1 being offside and 1 being a rookie mistake from Calvert-Lewin – the first 3 goals killed the game and Arsenal basically stopped playing there and then.
A pathetic set-up and a pathetic defensive performance, despite 7 defence-minded players being on the pitch for us and a manager who famously values the clean sheet above all else.
And the thing that resonates with me is, it’s not the first time, this wasn’t just 1 bad day at the office for this Everton side…
We got battered 4-0 at Spurs last month
We got battered 4-1 at Southampton
We got battered 3-0 at Lyon
We got battered 4-0 at United
We got battered 3-0 at Atalanta
We got battered 2-5 at home against Arsenal
We got battered 1-5 at home against Atalanta
So, you have to ask yourself, when it keeps happening, do these players really give a toss about Everton? Does this manager really give a toss about Everton?
I honestly don’t think they do and that’s why as fans, we just can’t connect. We concede a goal, and it’s not even anger anymore. It’s just silent acceptance and will remain as such until there’s a sea change in what we’re being subjected to.
These are not bad footballers. I know we’ve spent more than we should’ve on the vast majority of this squad, but they’re primarily experienced, international football players and that’s what makes this awful season so much worse.
As fans we travel hundreds of miles, spend our hard-earned cash, yet this group of players seem fine with taking regular hammerings, waving the white flag and going spread eagle.
Any relationship should be a two-way street and it’s no different when it comes to our relationship with this group of players and this manager. However, at the moment all I see us the fans bending over backwards, only to be rewarded with a total lack of effort.
Idrissa Gana Gueye.
When our backs are against the wall, how many times have they ran through brick walls for Everton? There’s barely a heart between them. Do you think they were really bothered with a 5-1 defeat on the coach on the way back? I don’t think they gave a toss, or it wouldn’t keep happening.
If they had a heart between them, they’d go to away grounds and impose themselves. Play how they can at home, but far too many are cowards and that’s why we’re rubbish away from home comforts of Goodison Park. The mentality is awful among the senior players.
Ashley Williams was Everton captain yesterday. I don’t ever want to see that happen again. He isn’t the brave lion-hearted defender we thought we bought from Swansea, he’s an average centre back on the decline who needs to look at his own game before trying to ‘lead’ others.
Tom Davies, for his faults, came on yesterday and just played like he cared. The kid has had a poor season but it was his introduction that actually led to our improved second half performance yesterday – albeit once Arsenal had started going through the motions.
Seamus Coleman, played on Wednesday like he cared and guess what, it rubbed off on others, including the crowd. I’ve said it 3 or 4 times in the past week, but he should be Everton captain.
He’s one of about 3 players we have who actually has a decent relationship with the fans.
I’ve never known such an unpopular Everton squad.
Not only is it the lack of effort, the lack of care, it’s the money v performance ratio. As fans it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like Everton money is our own, so when you think what these idiots are doing for the money they earn – it’s absolutely sickening.
Then there’s Sam Allardyce, a manager who couldn’t care less and one with a ginormous ego, to boot. Has there ever been a less popular Everton manager after 3 months in charge? I can’t think of anybody.
He’s an absolute disgrace and is not capable of managing or getting the best out of this squad. The man clearly just wants to keep up his ‘I’ve never been relegated’ record in tact and that’s it, it seems he likes his small-time little niche and isn’t willing to change.
There’s just no way he drilled the team on how to play the system he selected yesterday. Not one of them looked like they had an idea in the first half. It all stank of ‘let’s see how this goes, if it doesn’t work, who cares, we aren’t winning at Arsenal anyway. Our season won’t be judged on this result’ and let’s face it – that is not good enough for a manager of a squad that cost upwards of £300m.
The man is meant to be great at sorting out a struggling defence, yet we made those mistakes yesterday? Either the players aren’t having him (and you wouldn’t be surprised when he openly blames them in the media for everything) or, he’s just not a very good manager. Whatever the answer – it’s a big problem.
Surely there’s now absolutely no question, Sam Allardyce has to go, so it’s just whether it’s now or in the summer. This man simply cannot be considered as the future for Everton. He’s horrendous.
I’m aware Farhad Moshiri has said we have no need to worry about finances whilst he’s at the helm, but we can’t keep spending massive money on average players, selling them at a loss and firing managers – it’s all very costly and anybody with even the smallest scrap of business acumen must see it can’t be sustainable.
Whether we do it on Monday or we do it in the summer, this next managerial appointment is huge and it has to work for us for the next 3-5 years. If it doesn’t and we continue with such high player and manager turnover, I can see us going the way of QPR, Aston Villa or Sunderland – new stadium or not.
Things need to change at this club whilst we can still rescue the situation looking to next season and beyond. If Sam Allardyce is in charge come August, I don’t think I’ll go to another match.
Anyway, that’ll do for this – what do you reckon? Come discuss it with us and get yourself to the The Everton Forum