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Why have Everton gone 20 years without a trophy?

21/05/2015  Comments (40)  jump
David Prentice charts Everton's fall and rise since the club's last piece of major silverware in 1995 and ponders why the club has failed to come anywhere close to winning anything apart from the 2009 Cup final.

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (40)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 22/05/2015 at 07:07:42
I can answer thus is one short sentence: Because we are big time big match bottlers, and this is something that has become ingrained in the club during the last 20 years.

Let's face it, we couldn't even beat Coventry on the last day at home in 1998, a game like a cup final; we needed to rely on Chelsea saving our skin instead.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 22/05/2015 at 07:15:10
The fact we have only been to one domestic Cup Final in 20 years is in itself a sad indictment for a club like Everton.
Lewis Barclay
4 Posted 22/05/2015 at 08:30:41
The root cause is probably that other teams have won trophies in the last 20 years have either had better funding or more luck at the right moment.
Trevor Peers
5 Posted 22/05/2015 at 08:40:39
We haven't got that ruthless desire to win, there is no dynamic personality driving the club forward. We've been conditioned to accept failure. The fans crave success, no problem there, all fans want to win trophies.

Something has to dramatically alter the finances inside the club, it can happen. We can dream.

Dave Lynch
6 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:10:53
Because we have not been good enough...


Dennis Stevens
7 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:11:50
The pinnacle of the club's ambitions seems to be to strive to be 'the best of the rest', maybe a decent cup run or trip to Europe now & again, but that's considered satisfactory.
Andrew Ellams
8 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:12:40
That's not true though Dave Lynch. There are teams not as good as Everton that have won trophies in that period.

Jim Bennings @ 1 hits the nail on the head. Moyes had three games at Wembley and we were complete no shows each tim. (including the Man Utd semi). Add to those the League Cup semi vs Chelsea and our woeful record in Europe against any team that anybody has ever actually heard of and there you have it.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:26:26
Winning a trophy can happen to anyone, you don't have to be super rich, clubs like Middlesbrough, Wigan, Swansea and Blackburn have all lifted a trophy since we last did.

We are an established Premier League club and to have only been to ONE final in 20 years is not good enough for Everton FC, simple as that!

Who knows why we can't do it, it's a mix of bottling it on the big stage, not bring ruthless in front of goal when the opportunities arrive and one of our favourite Achilles Heels over the year's, the old self destruct button, for example the Semi final of 2012 against you know who.

A combination of these things always seems to hold back our chances of breaking that seemingly never-ending glass ceiling.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:33:46
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why we shouldn't go all out next season to win the League Cup.

We have no European matches and you only play for League Cup matches before Christmas, think the quarter final is in early December isn't it?

People deride it but imagine a semi-final second leg (or first) at Goodison under the floodlights knowing your team is a game away from Wembley and winning a trophy that we unbelievably have NEVER won in our history??

I don't like the fact that there is still a domestic trophy out there that Everton have never won, we know we are never going to win the league or Champions League so these domestic cups, Everton Football Club should be ravenous for.

Andrew Ellams
12 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:40:43
Jim, we had that night against Chelsea in 2008 and guess what happened. It was a complete no show after the frightening the life out of them in the 1st leg.
Graham Mockford
13 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:24:31
Since we last won a trophy 14 sides have won a domestic trophy although 7 of those teams have won one each (Aston Villa, Blackburn, Swansea, Boro, Wigan and Portsmouth). Another 2 teams have won twice (Spurs and Leicester).

The rest of the time it has been dominated by:

Man Utd 17
Chelsea 14
Arsenal 8
RS 5
Man City 4

This is a fairly unprecedented run of domination by big teams due wholly to the uneven playing field that has arisen financially.

Statistically your best chance of a trophy is the League Cup where the bigger sides definitely take this least seriously; that being said, they win it more often than not. Next comes the FA Cup and you might as well forget the League.

So yes, we probably would have expected to win one maybe two in that time period but let's face it, the dice are stacked, so let's not pretend this trophy drought is specific to us.

Eddie Dunn
14 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:46:17
Andrew, remember tiny Wright-Phillips out-jumping Lescott, what a cock-up.
Jim Bennings
15 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:44:52
I remember, Andrew.

That again backs up our point about Everton being seasoned big-match bottlers, we actually had a stage over those two legs when it was 1-1 at Chelsea in the 1st leg and they were down to 10 men but we lost it in injury time.

No club does hard luck stories or consistent heroic failure quite like Everton FC.

Also it's a good point made that we have been conditioned to accept failure, striving to just accept "a good cup run" instead of actually wanting and believing we CAN win it!!

I said a while ago, why people deem a "a good cup run" losing heavily in a quarter final or semi is beyond me..
That's a small club mentality... A good cup run is WINNING it.

Andrew Ellams
16 Posted 22/05/2015 at 09:48:56
Graham, if you add teams that have played in finals but not won a cup in that time then we look even worse. Cardiff have played in the final of both domestic cup competitions, Wigan have a League Cup Final to add to there FA Cup win and Stoke, Sunderland and Bradford among others sit nicely next to us on one unsuccessful final.

The difference in the cup competitions is not as vast as it is in the league for obvious reasons and Everton's lack of success is a disgrace, especially when you start to list the clubs that have knocked us out in that time. (Oldham at home!!!)

Andrew Clare
17 Posted 22/05/2015 at 10:28:22
Lack of investment.
Jim Bennings
18 Posted 22/05/2015 at 10:30:24
Lack of investment stops you winning the Premier League and Champions League, not the two domestic Cups.

Too easy an excuse to make.

Andrew Clare
19 Posted 22/05/2015 at 10:35:58
Wrong manager.
Paul Tran
20 Posted 22/05/2015 at 10:40:37
Whenever we get close, we bottle it. You don't need huge investment to win a cup. I'm with Jim on this one - a good cup run is winning it. I can accept winning the league is currently beyond us in terms of investment, but there's two cups to go for each season and we should be going for them seriously.
Andrew Ellams
21 Posted 22/05/2015 at 11:04:38
Which one Andrew? We have had 4 since we last won a trophy.
Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 22/05/2015 at 10:51:02
From 1989 onwards, Everton started to lose important matches and the confidence of the club and its supporters has gradually been eroded over time. In the darkest days of the Seventies and Eighties, the club and fans still had that arrogance of a big club and feared nobody in any game apart from perhaps one team who shall remain nameless.

The fear of losing to the other lot has in my experience always been around, but every other team was treated with respect but not fear; but as time has moved forwards, more teams are feared by the club and its fans until every important game against any opposiiton becomes a potential banana skin for the team.

If Everton are to ever win a competition in the future it will take a very special group of players to shake off that losing mentality.

Somehow Everton have to recapture that ability to win games when they are favourites and not only be able to perform out of their skins when they are the percieved underdogs

It could be another twenty years before we taste success and that will be assured if we continue to behave like a small time club both on and off the pitch.

Mentality as much as finance has an impact on results and that is why Chelsea under Mourinho and Man Utd under Ferguson win things even with teams who are not quite at their best; We can't do a great deal about the financial inequalities but we can achieve more by ridding ourselves of an unwanted inferiority complex.

Mike Galley
23 Posted 22/05/2015 at 11:03:26
Jim Bennings is absolutely, 100% correct in my opinion. Over the years, I've read/heard comments from Blues along the lines of 'A top half finish and a cup semi-final would be a good season!'. So, we're aiming to win nothing?

I understand the league title is a non-starter in the current football environment, but a domestic cup should be a realistic aspiration for us!

Clive Rogers
24 Posted 22/05/2015 at 11:01:55
At the annual presentations, Kenwright said that you have to have the bad times to appreciate the good. That seems to be his philosophy, just wait for something good to come along hopefully. This has filtered down from top to bottom. Everton will never win anything with Kenwright at the helm.
Graham Mockford
25 Posted 22/05/2015 at 11:05:08

Lack of financial resources reduce your chances massively whatever the competition. The chances just get better in the Cups especially the League Cup.

Only Wigan and Porsmouth outside of the top 5 teams in the last 20 years have won the FA Cup.

But let's be honest with ourselves it's not just the last 20 years.

We have won the FA Cup 5 times in 148 attempts ie once every 30 years and we have never won a League Cup in 55 attempts.

Doesn't really support the assertion that a club like Everton should be doing better.

Andrew Clare
26 Posted 22/05/2015 at 11:16:46
Andrew #21, All of them.
Tony J Williams
28 Posted 22/05/2015 at 12:37:15
Team of bottlers but we were hard done by in 2009 as the spine of our team was injured, with Hags the game before the final.

Jags, Arteta with crutiates and Yak out with an exploding heel or something.

We might have given Chelsea a fight with a full team but without them three and fielding unfit players we simply weren't good enough.

Don't start me on that mini Eddie Murphy out jumping Lescott and the dope on the line not going straight through the both of them.......Christ, that's what will eventually kill me, thinking about that game too much.....

Thomas Lennon
31 Posted 22/05/2015 at 13:04:25
When a stadium move was in the offing many here spoke passionately that winning by removing the soul of the club was not what they wanted. I remember putting forward an argument that from bottom to top we are not a club that focuses on winning - there are many laudable aspects of our clubs activities but they seem more about community.
Other clubs over the last 20 years have ONLY focused on winning and that means getting as much money as possible to fund winning. Several here found that attitude distasteful: what about all those who cannot afford a ticket etc.

This attitude goes something like: Let us stay in our cosy world of cheap tickets to watch reasonable footy and occasionally get a good win to shout about. One day we may even get a string of lucky draws and win a cup - maybe even Europa! Our retired players have a home to come to, our disabled and young are well looked after, our historical artifacts are (ironically) well looked after too which is brilliant.

We might even say that we are home to the sort of players the top teams don't want. They are extremely good players but they lack something - the winning attitude perhaps?

But what about winning!!

More recently I can begin see the point of it all. Building our community into the community of Liverpool is one of the very few ways we will be able to compete if we go 20 more years winning nothing. Young people are pulled towards the club for reasons other than winning and that is no bad thing as our aging demographic takes its toll. Who knows the club may even end up part owned by the community. We are going the opposite way to many of our competitors and I think that is a reasonable strategy - until of course a multi billionaire decides to run a shipping line out of Mersey Docks and needs some serious exposure worldwide via the Premier League.

Kenwright doesn't want to sell our soul. Should he?

Thomas Surgenor
32 Posted 22/05/2015 at 13:38:30
This is a strange one, I really feel we built a good enough side to win something under Moyes. Maybe its a case of history always looking better than the present!

I agree with a few of the above posters – Lets win the League Cup and build from there... a cup's a cup and it'll be an education for the younger players in the squad of what it takes to win something.

Barry Jones
33 Posted 22/05/2015 at 13:37:16
I would rather be in the top six each year, but always pushing for a higher place, playing good football and giving the teams above us difficult games than winning one of the cups. Lets face it, winning the league is much more difficult than it was 20 years except for a small band of select clubs. Would Blackburn win the league again?

The cups involve a great amount of luck. The league is where quality and success is really measured. What we need is a new ground and new backers and anything is possible with the fan-base we have. You wouldn't have called Manchester City a big club 10 years ago. They were a yo-yo team with limited history and now they are a giant.

Patrick Murphy
34 Posted 22/05/2015 at 13:51:31
Barry It's interesting that you compare Man City to Everton. I would argue that even half of the investment that City have received in the last few years would have produced more trophies at Goodison than it has at the Etihad – of course, we'll never be able to prove that as a fact... but I wish we had been given the opportunity.

Ian Smitham
35 Posted 22/05/2015 at 13:57:10
I have read the article in the Newspaper. Can not quite understand the point of it, whether it is a high level summary, an Anniversary reminder, or just filling the paper on a quiet news day.

Anyway, said article mentions the Shareholders and Directors noting the vast wealth of Lord Granchester, who owns 8.5% of the enterprise.

The article also goes on to note that a certain Philip Green also seems to have oodles of money.

What I can not understand is why he, of all the people in the Sunday Times rich list, is mentioned. To my limited knowledge he has no shares in the Company and is not a Director.

So, why him??

Peter Mills
36 Posted 23/05/2015 at 09:00:10
We lost a pretty important game at the end of the 1984-85 season, and a couple more the following year!
Ian Smitham
37 Posted 29/05/2015 at 12:53:06
May not be the right place and with due respect to the innocent concerned, but I note that it is 30 years ago to the day that the Heysel event happened. The Daily Telegraph refers to it as "footballs forgotten tragedy"

Appreciating that this thread refers to 20 years, I wonder if any one recalls it was another ten prior to that that the Blues last won anything.

Ray Roche
38 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:16:12
Ian, I doubt if we two are the only ones ignorant of that fact. IÂ’ve seen nothing of it in the press, hardly surprising really, itÂ’s just part of the re-writing of history that some of us associate with our shameless neighbours.
Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:23:31
1987 to 1995 is eight years not ten.
Steve Brown
40 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:26:03
Ray #38, spot on. Heysel killed our progress as a club when we were at our peak and then it was exacerbated by terrible leadership on and off the pitch during the 90s. That was exactly at the time when the games was commercialising – we were well completely left behind and became a laughing stock.

We have spent the last 15 years just getting back to being average.

Patrick Murphy
41 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:34:22
The Liverpool Echo actually has a story on that terrible night in Brussels for the first time in my memory but I might be wrong. Unfortunately it damaged us a lot more than any club in England for a good few years, but in the last couple of decades we have been the architects of our own rapid decline.

Raymond Fox
42 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:52:03
The league is a true measure of the quality of a team not cups. Winning a League Cup would mean little to me, okay better than nothing but still little to glory in.

The wealth of a few teams has effectively killed the Premier League off as a competition. Without the extra millions to spend on players, we will never win the Premier League.

Ian Smitham
43 Posted 29/05/2015 at 21:51:13
Where were you all on this momentous disastrous night? How did it affect you?
Ian Smitham
44 Posted 29/05/2015 at 22:48:09
As well as a disaster for 39. Someone make a case that this was not THE worst night in the history of Everton Football Club.
Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 29/05/2015 at 22:52:52
Ian - Two World Wars breaking out whilst we were at the beginning of a League Title campaign and whilst we were reigning Champions may have impacted the club a lot more than that horrible night in Brussels. The blanket ban had more to do with political interference than what would have been appropriate in ordinary times.

The fact that our neighbours went on to beat us to the double in 1986 and continued to progress for the rest of that decade whilst we went into decline only rubbed salt into our wounds and weÂ’ve never really recovered as a club or a fan-base even though what happened had sod all to do with Everton or its supporters.

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