Time for some sweeping changes
throughout the upper echelons of Everton Football Club, says Colm Kavanagh
How Many Straws Does It Take To Break A Camel's
There's a very old saying in football - its message is rather simple:
the League table never lies. Well we've managed, not once but twice,
to sit proudly atop the Premiership - Kings for a day. Or two, as
the case may have been...
If ever there was an argument for not printing League tables until most
had played at least ten games, then we've provided it. Going top
brought a spring in the step to most Evertonians, an outbreak of smiles -
the gloom lifting temporarily over Goodison. It also bought a little
time for the beleaguered management team who are in dire need of
However, the reality is beginning to dawn on many and a truer
reflection of our status emerging. How greasy is the pole we're
currently sliding down on nobody knows... but we're giving off the aura of
a team in freefall. Nice; not even October and the rot has set in.
After the derby debacle, one comment caught my eye. Taken from
the match report in the Daily Express, the author wrote, "bereft of
ideas and more importantly finance, there seems little change from the
error-ridden administration of reviled former chairman Peter
Johnson. And while it is Smith's problem, it is not necessarily all
his fault." That comment was spot on and anyone who blames
Walter Smith solely for our troubles is missing the big picture
here. I'd also hazard a guess that those who think like that also
see Duncan Ferguson as our saviour. Duncan? A poor man's Niall
The time has come now for the Board to get off their friggin' arses and
start showing one and all how to run a football club steeped in the very
finest of tradition. They are the custodians of our great Club and
it is going down the pan before our very eyes. We've had our very
best crop of youngsters sold for a variety of reasons over the years for
absolute millions and yet we're still neck deep - and some - in crippling
How can this be? Who is responsible? How come our finances
are in such disarray?
It's certainly not Walter Smith responsible for that backdrop at
Everton Football Club. Those who rigidly defend the manager point to
his (financially handicapped) forays into the transfer market.
Walter Smith has wheeled and dealed with the very best of them in recent
seasons - not by choice either.
Bill Kenwright has some very tough decisions to make in the near
future. No one doubts his position as a fellow Blue who cares deeply for
the Club but he must look closer at the people surrounding him within that
Boardroom and ask himself - are these the right people to guide Everton
Football Club to better times? Are these the people responsible for
our decline in the modern game?
Wholesale changes within the Boardroom may well be dramatic but
certainly one or two need more than a kick in the arse for the ineptitude
as custodians of our Club. Can directors depart under the Bosman
ruling? If so can we start the culling with the removal of the
present Chairman and replace him with a 'figurehead' who knows how to
extract a sleeping football giant from the mire.
Anyway, to matters on the pitch - do we look totally lost or
what? A team with no pace looking to a 34-year-old self-confessed
alcoholic for inspiration does not sound encouraging. Yet that is
exactly what we are. It frightens me to think that this is what we
are reduced to nowadays - compared with the likes of Coventry, Leicester
and Southampton instead of (traditional?) comparisons with Liverpool,
Manchester United and Arsenal. And, as has become custom, dumped out of
the Worthington Cup by a lower league side before 'the big boys' even get
to enter the competition.
Hello Blues - wake up and smell that pungent whiff about Everton
Football Club. We're in deep trouble - our woes increasing all the
time, ne'er an indication of potential to overcome the situation. Oh
we've no divine right to be up there on a permanent basis but at the same
time we should not be annually struggling as much as we now do. One
of these years (possibly this) we will go down and, with the current
climate in football, that could prove catastrophic.
The 'brand' of football being served up in the good name of Everton
Football Club these days is a disgrace to the traditions of the
Club. To many a neutral, we must be one of the ugliest sides to
view. We play with no panache. We constantly lump it forward
to the bungling duo that look anything but comfortable with each
other. We rarely play with a midfield. We're not even in 'dogs
of war' mode.
Oh aye, stick two players in there not better recognised as defenders
and see how they cope... It sickens me to think that, for two
seasons now, our best working central midfield pairing has been Scott
Gemmill and Mark Pembridge. They, for me, are our best pairing from
what is available and Christ does that not tell you something about our
team and our manager. And yet he splits them up as a pairing
whenever he can!
We've three of our next four fixtures at Goodison and they are all Cup
Finals if you ask me. West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle all pay
visits to Goodison in the coming month and the pressure is sure to mount
if we do not gain satisfactory points from those games. Even
Walter's most ardent supporters must realise that we cannot simply
continue, "as you be".
Managers, as ever, live and die by results. Why has Walter proven
to be an exception to the rule? We Evertonians have held the
copyright in recent seasons for embarrassingly bad results. The cup
competitions have proven to be our forte - Tranmere
in particular. How many more times must we suffer such humiliation
before action is taken?
I'm tired of hearing that making a change is bad and the last thing we
need mid-season. The last time we did that - Gary Ablett was our top
scorer at the time and we were rock bottom of the League.
Remember? We went onto escape the drop that season and win the FA
Cup against the very best side England has produced over the past
That so-called "Dogs of War" side, led by Joe Royle, restored
some pride in the Royal Blue jersey and let it be noted that the
performance against Spurs
in the FA Cup semi-final at Elland Road was up there with the very
best. So tell me that making a change mid-season is undoubtedly a
recipe for disaster! It isn't nice replacing a manager early into a
season but when the game is up, the game is up!
Football may be just a game to some; to others it may be the central
ingredient in their lives. Whatever your poison, you pay to support
your club; you pay to be entertained. Can we honestly label the fare
on view at Goodison as entertainment? Scousers may well be known for
their wry wit but I'm positive that even the most humorous of Blues would
struggle to avoid the usage of industrial language when describing the
turgid footballing skills of the present day Everton XI. It's a
It'll be interesting to see what evolves when Craig Brown is politely
lauded by the Scottish FA chiefs before being shown the door in October
when Scotland fulfil their remaining World Cup qualifying fixture.
The usual suspects will no doubt all get a mention as possible
replacements when Brown shuffles off into the sunset. What odds our
Walter emerging from the pack to take up the reign as national
We've acted in the past (knee-jerked?) with the opportunity of
international games providing a window in the season. The sands of
time ran out for Mike Walker with a two-week break and we didn't regret it
then. There would be few tears if the Board re-enacted that scenario
in a few weeks' time, relieving our jovial Caledonian management team of
We need a change in leadership pronto. The natives have taken it on the
chin once too often now and have had their fill of boring, negative
football. Attendances are down and people are beginning to vote with
their feet. Watching Everton these days is not a pretty sight and we
all firmly believe our own bullshit that we want to see an Everton side
playing with a certain swagger. That's nonsense - I'd say there's a
majority of Blues who would accept less than pretty football (sure haven't
we become accustomed to it?!) if results were to improve. We're not
getting those results under the present management.
I wonder... if we swapped one Scottish manager for another, George
Graham, would our lot improve? Ah, whoever! I get the feeling
that we're going to be discussing many a possible name in the coming
weeks. George Graham, Dave Jones, Joe Royle, Craig Brown, John
Toshack, Peter Reid, the Sultan of Brunei, Bernie Ecclestone, Howard
Kendall Mk IV and then Mk V, Andy Gray, Kevin Ratcliffe, George 'Dubya'
Place your bets NOW!