It's true to say that the Premier League this year is completely incoherent with seasons past: the unpredictable nature of performances make it very difficult to predict or understand the results so far this season for most teams.
In the world of PLCs in all forms of business there is a performance management process that keeps your staff performing to the expected standards, or overachieving, with which comes reward. Also, there is the opposite which will manage people out of the business for not performing.
Sadly, in the sentimental family-run business world, the reluctance to upset the <em>status quo</em> or remove someone who has historically performed well but is now in real decline is something that is shied away from. The glimmer of hope that previous performance levels will be returned to are all too common and a steady decline in all areas soon follows.
Enter Tim Howard:- Used to be good, has been very good, a coup in some respects when we signed him from Manchester Utd. Untouchable under David Moyes and seemingly under Roberto Martinez. He won us the penalty shoot-out in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final; save of last season vs Southampton; and had the World Cup of all World Cups.
Now a bag of nerves, untrustworthy from general and set plays, he makes mistakes constantly, unsettles his back four, is slow and poor, with slow distribution. He has cost us a minimum of 6 points in the last month alone, and probably cost us 15 points last season.
'Small margins' is the vogue saying of the moment in our Manager's press conferences. These are the margins that earn you prize money for league places, earn you European football, which brings financial reward and exposure. However, when you have something fundamentally wrong in your business that is eroding these margins, you cut it out or get rid of it.
Our owner, a likeable man, a true Evertonian, loves the club but is just the custodian and just waiting for the right person to come along. He runs our club like a family business — he needs to run it like a PLC. He needs to apply pressure to the manager in respect that we are underachieving, not meeting expectations, in danger of losing key assets going forward. Under foreign ownership, a single investor, or floated on the stock market, changes would have been rung a long time ago.
The manager needs to apply this pressure to the players not performing. Tim Howard should be nowhere near the first team, and probably not the club. Arouna Kone has had his run in the first team, has scored a couple of goals (he's a striker; it's his job) but now is once again off the pace. Get him out of the team. Exposing Baines and previously Galloway to opposition attacks, costing us time and time again.
The current situation we find ourselves in, the feelings of the large majority of fans and summed up perfectly on Toffee TV's instant match reaction video is of missed opportunities. If we had taken half of those opportunities, where would we be? Top 6 easy, Top 4 possibly.
Everton this season have been a huge contributor to the above and the shear Jekyll and Hyde performance of the team, aligned with the stubborn approach to tactics and personnel shown by the manager, underpins this.
January will be a huge window for the whole of the Premier League due to the new TV deal next season. We will get left behind, we will lose players next season due to league placing and lack of European competition.
Why do Everton make so hard, what is clearly evident to everyone else?