Paddy Boyland provides his assessment of Everton's stalled progression under Farhad Moshiri.
It was meant to be the start of a bold new era for Everton. Buoyed by the expectation of substantial investment from billionaire backer Farhad Moshiri, the club's marketing team sought to tap into the feeling of optimism sweeping the club by boldly unveiling the now notorious 'Nothing will be the same' advertising campaign for 2016-17 season.
The Goodison club's remarkable regression makes for a fitting cautionary tale for nouveau riche sides seeking to find a way of closing the gap between themselves and the top six: Money, in isolation, is not enough in itself to bridge the divide.
Stylistically, Everton have flittered between three distinctive, incompatible styles under Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce. A pale imitation of Dutch Total Football followed by Unsworth's focus on youth and Allardyce's defence-first approach.
What's become strikingly apparent this season is that Everton still don't know what they are – nor want to become in the future. Not thriving in any particular area of play, they've also failed to lay building blocks for the the future on the pitch this campaign.
Learning lessons from the latest false start functions as the first major step in Everton's rehabilitation. Only then will the 'Nothing will ever be the same' strapline really stand a chance of ringing true.
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