Aspirations! Really?

by   |   22/12/2018  25 Comments  [Jump to last]

I think, as we have done every season since 1987, we have ambitions which are way beyond what we can deliver. I believe we have once again beeng drawn into aspirations which are way beyond our current capabilities. Yes, we are playing football which is pleasing to the eye, the players seem to be enjoying their football again, and have nothing but excellent words about Silva, and all seems happy again within the club and its supporters.

Why do I think we will fall short again? – I think we have to develop a belief, an absolute belief we can compete at the very top. We just have to go to Anfield, the Etihad, Old Trafford, the Emirates, White Hart Lane... and actually WIN. There is a huge difference in producing quality football, having quality players, and actually going to these grounds knowing you have a real chance of actually WINNING the game. Yes it’s nice the managers of these clubs saying Everton are a top team, but they know that Everton won’t actually threaten their opportunities to qualify for the lucrative Champions League.

If you look at Spurs, probably the club closest to us for the last 20 years in terms of performance and ambitions, they (like us) were bobbing up and down the league, from 11th to 6th place for quite a number of years, 2004 to 2013, but they at least attained 4th place twice in those years, both under Harry Rednapp. They then managed to bugger things up when they sacked Rednapp in 2012 for failing to retain the 4th place and Champions League football. They dabbled with Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood and went backwards.

So, in 2014, they brought in Pochettino, who, after 2 years in charge, got them into 3rd place and has kept them there since, possibly, probably because he had a certain Harry Kane just coming into view from the academy and U23s. He delivered over 20 goals that season and he has continued ever since.

Pochettino inherited a team which had a strong backbone already and topped it up with some good buys over his first two years in charge, but the absolute goalscoring machine every top club needs (Aquero, Salah, Kane) was there already. Top teams have also got the creators required to put opportunities at the goalscorers feet/head (Hazard, Mane, Firmino, De Bruyne, Silva, Sane, Sterling). Pochettino has got the likes of Alli, Eriksen to help take Spurs to a level where they believe they can go anywhere and win.

Where are we, we haven’t quite got the strong backbone yet; we are short in the midfield area, we haven’t got that creative spark and, as we all know, we haven’t got the scorer to give us over 20 goals each season. Until Silva and Brands acquire the three or four missing jigsaw pieces, we will continue to flatter but not quite deliver.

I’m not saying Silva won’t deliver but I suspect it will take at least two or three more transfer windows to acquire the above and probably to replace the likes of Coleman and other fringe players like Baines, Schneiderlin, Tosun, and Niasse.

What worries me is the targets that Alexander Ryazantsev stated in his recent interview with “Paul The Esk”. He is our new Finance Director and listed better commercial revenues, stadium funding etc, but based on success on the pitch. He was asked what they are or need to be – his words: “In 12 months from now, we should have just qualified for the Europa League final 16, and be in the Top 4 in the Premier League, ready for Champions League qualification in the 2019-20 season.” — Really!!!

Is Mr Moshiri willing to spend another £120M in the next two transfer windows? I hope so!

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Reader Comments (25)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 22/12/2018 at 20:06:41
I firmly believe that Everton Football Club needs to employ a witch doctor and sports psychologist to find out why the hell this club can not win away to a top six side.

To have one bad record you can understand, every team has one bogey venue but with us it’s

Chelsea -1994

Arsenal -1996

Liverpool -1999

Manchester United -2013 (but one win since 1992)

Manchester City -2010 (before they became the regular big boys)

Tottenham-2008 (again before they became big six)

It’s something about Everton Football Club that’s holding it back.

People might say that wins against these sides aren’t what gets you up the league, but if we are ever to be taken seriously by these sides we need to start hitting them hard trading blows and earning respect.

Our record against the top six is frankly now just embarrassing.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 22/12/2018 at 22:57:27
I don't agree with this ongoing "It's going to take two or three transfer windows to really start competing". We had a very good transfer window in summer, and there's no real reason why we couldn't have done better in the games so far against the top teams. One more good transfer window, and there should be a further big difference.

So I'm looking for improvements NOW, not waiting for two or three years, the jam tomorrow business that never ends.

We were looking good up until the cock-up in the derby. When that happened, we could either have bounced back, or collapsed mentally. I was hoping it would be the former, but at the back of my mind thinking it would probably be the latter.

Everton have a track record of raising us up and then letting us down. I'm hoping we're not in the midst of the latest example of that. But it's just a hope, and I'm not really expecting us to show mental fortitude. I'm sick of it really, but have been sick of it for a long time...

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 22/12/2018 at 23:17:07
I agree with you Stan.

People are ready to make excuses all the time but we can’t keep spending £50-70 million every summer and getting no difference every season.

Fans go on about this being a million miles away from the football we saw last season and all this great attacking football but I just don’t see this same football that everyone else is seeing.

If there has been a slight improvement in the style then after spending millions of pounds again last summer I should bloody well expect some semblance of style.

There’s some fans setting themselves over how we played in our five visits to Arsenal, United, Chelsea, Liverpool and City but hey newsflash, one point was taken, one goal from open play, hardly got me reaching for champagne.

I’m sick of the jam tomorrow, we have had that since the David Moyes era, only then it was the glass ceiling.

Andy Crooks
4 Posted 22/12/2018 at 23:33:48
Jim, I don't know what age you are but your posts remind me of what I used to write in the later days of the Moyes era. No-one took more abuse than I did for many a day. Like you, I was on top of every thread looking for every fucking negative thing I could find.

You know what, Jim, things are better now. Look back in the archives and check out the bile between some of us. This site is much more civilised now. I respect your passion and your acceptance of other views but, take it from me, things are pretty good.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 22/12/2018 at 00:03:28
"...things are pretty good."


Hey, poster #4, who are you and what have you done with my beer buddy Andy?

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
6 Posted 23/12/2018 at 00:38:59
Andy Crooks @4,

Someone recently sent us this email from your address:

Has the site become anaemic? It seems to me it has. I can recall, back in the day, when this site was like a pub where you met your mates. Dave Wilson, Alan Kirwin, Martin Mason and many others. The editor regulated the site like a bouncer on the door of a proper scouse pub.

This is the best fan site in the world. It seems to me that it is tamer than what is was. Michael and Lyndon — allow some proper debate.

I think we'll need to do a security check on your account as it appears to have been hacked!

James Flynn
7 Posted 23/12/2018 at 00:54:45
Mike Oates — Good read. Thanks.

We need to consider the two clubs' leadership from 2004. You referred to that as "They" and "We".

"They" was and is Levy. "We" was Kenwright.

Now we have Moshiri. Levy chopped and changed for years. Moshiri has chopped and changed and here we are. Game to game, not where we want to be.

We now know, because Brands said so, that he was Moshiri's first choice. Wanted the opportunity in England, but turned him down because "I gave my word".

We suffered last season for it. Here Brands is now, Silva too.

It's my belief that, now Moshiri finally has the right Club management structure in place, that we are going places in the next few years and beyond.

As we go, still sucks losing games along the way. But for sure "They" vs "We" isn't what it was. It looks the same way this season. But it is not.

Laurie Hartley
8 Posted 23/12/2018 at 01:12:07
Jim # 1 - you are right.

There has been no fight in this club for some time.

The last Everton team with fight in it was this one:

Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Naysmith, Osman (Beattie 83), Neville, Carsley, Arteta (Nuno Valente 90), Cahill, Johnson.

And they won the most important match of our season.

It won’t change till we find a couple of characters like Cahill, Carsley, Arteta, Neville, or Johnson.

Gary Russell
9 Posted 23/12/2018 at 02:54:11
This line from the the OP 'we will continue to flatter but not quite deliver.' For me, it sums up this season so far... we have flattered but have not quite delivered.

Today against Spurs, let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.

Alan J Thompson
10 Posted 23/12/2018 at 05:08:12
It does appear that a new management team needs time to settle but just how long is that? A lot say that we are in a transition period but it seems that Silva, with a pre-season, has had as long as Allardyce had in total.

Yes, the football is a lot more inspiring and reminds me of a line Alf Garnett had about West Ham; "They play such lovely football you'd think they'd let them win one every now and then."

Steve Brown
11 Posted 23/12/2018 at 07:37:29
Silva has been in charge for 19 competitive games – Klopp has been in charge of the shite for 180 games and still not won a trophy.

Allardyce was in charge for 26 games which was 26 more than he should have done.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 23/12/2018 at 08:47:07
Laurie 8

I cheered myself up the other day and watched the Carsley derby of 2004.

It was the first time I'd watched the game for years I'll be honest but do you know what really struck me about that game?

How bloody damn hard we worked and the pressing we applied to Liverpool that day was akin to what Klopp's Liverpool do today.

I don't think I fully appreciated it on the day – we won that game because we were all in a bit of a blur after winning and just generally being in the top 4.

But, looking at that match, it's unreal that I don't believe I've seen an Everton side work so hard, and the fitness levels were so high, what Moyes had told them prior to kickoff that day, I have no idea, but it worked.

The team was full of aggressive vocal characters that were desperate to win: Stubbs and Weir inspirational at the back and Carsley, Cahill and Gravesen chased down everything.

But Marcus Bent's work ethic in leading from the front that day, I'd forgotten how good it was; the lad must have been breathing out of his arse.

If anyone wants to see how this current Everton team is can improve under Silva, then go on YouTube and watch the Carsley derby of 2004.

Passion at its very best.

Aaron Lang
13 Posted 23/12/2018 at 09:05:35
Long time reader, first time posting. I don't see the obsession with beating the “top six” when we're not getting the results against the “lesser” teams. We have dropped 13 league points against the lower teams whilst looking pretty good against the top teams.

Those points would have us equal with Chelsea & Tottenham, with only the point against Chelsea to show for our efforts against the top teams. I think that, if we worked out how to beat the lower teams, the results against the top teams would work themselves out.

No need for an obsession for points against the top teams when we would be one of them if we could get results against the lower teams...

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 23/12/2018 at 09:32:24

So basically saying we should play 26 games and try and win 18 of them against the teams outside the top six?

To finish 6th, we'd need at least 18 or 19 wins and there's no way on earth we are going to win that amount of matches from the 26 said. We don't win away games.

Realistically after Christmas we should be winning six away games starting with Burnley and Brighton but we all know we won't.

It's not an obsession about the top six but you could never take Everton seriously if you were a club at the high end of the table, safe in the knowledge that Everton never beat a top-six side.

Just as Man City wouldn't take Liverpool serious if our Red friends had a record against the top six that was awful.

Aaron Lang
15 Posted 23/12/2018 at 09:54:41

I'm thinking you're missing my point. I am not saying we should only try to win 26 games, we should be trying to win 38!! Yes, we all know that's not gonna happen, but the results against West Ham, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Watford, and Newcastle are what has actually cost us a place in the top four.

If we had achieved the results that we very well should have, then our results against at least a couple of the top six would be irrelevant because we would be above at least 2 of them! If we were, I wouldn't give a toss about how seriously they took us!

Darren Hind
16 Posted 23/12/2018 at 10:00:24
Yeah, let's get a witch doctor in, or better still an exorcist. We can exorcise the ghost of Davey Moyes, Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce... What? They've already gone?

Oh well. Let's just keep banging on about their records then. We really do need to preserve all that misery.

John G Davies
17 Posted 23/12/2018 at 10:05:05
Re post 6

"I'm Spartacus"

Mike Oates
18 Posted 23/12/2018 at 11:05:40
Steve # 11

I don't think you have to win anything nowadays, getting into the Champions League is what you need to do, to grow you need to get worldwide access to new fans, you need to access the pots of gold which you get in the Champions League, you need top players wanting to join you, you need to get the Everton brand out there. You just have to grow major commercial income, there isn't anyway else you can survive at the top, Moshiri won't keep pumping £100m a year.

Winning the League Cup, the FA Cup, playing in the Europa League gets you nothing, other than it's proving you are growing a team which can possibly threaten the existing top 6. You just have to get into the Top 4 and stay there for a season or two.

Dave Ganley
19 Posted 23/12/2018 at 12:05:56
Sorry, Mike, you do need to win trophies to be successful. I'm a bit of an arl arse now and not one who has been brought up to think finishing 3rd or 4th is success.

Klopp stated that the other day, I'm quite sure that in private all the gobshites would disagree with him that you don't need trophies. Winning breeds confidence. If you're winning trophies then Champions League finishes will happen in due course.

All this nonsense about not having to win trophies to be successful and finishing in Champions League places is all that I hate about football these days. Nothing beats watching us pick up a trophy.

As much as I enjoyed the 2003-04 season when we finished 4th it wasn't a patch on winning at Wembley. Give me that any day.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 23/12/2018 at 12:41:18
Dave Ganley

You are 200% right! Winning a trophy brings memories, not finishing 4th.

I can still reel off that FA Cup winning team of 95 because it was a trophy success.

Does anyone look back and say: “Ahh remember when we finished 5th under Roberto or 4th under Moyes”

Fair enough achievements but nowhere near the satisfaction of seeing the team bring home a trophy like in 95, when fans were hanging from the structure of the new Megastore that was getting built.

Besides anything, it's not a one-off appearance in the Champions League that we need, it's year-in & year-out for a decade, to get true exposure.

That's not happening anytime soon so I'd rather focus on winning a Cup.

Stan Schofield
21 Posted 23/12/2018 at 13:20:56
I think supporters want trophies primarily, but will 'tolerate' not winning trophies provided the team is competing regularly at the top. Liverpool and Spurs are in this category, they're not in the 'elite' category of trophy winners, but are habitual 'nearly teams' who compete highly enough to have a 'big brand' and growing fan base.

A lot of Liverpool supporters 'tolerate' but don't 'accept' Liverpool's constant 'nearly winning', so they are a bit frustrated, but obviously not on the scale that we're frustrated, because we're not even a 'nearly team'.

I also think the board of a club is, unlike the supporters, interested primarily in growing their business and profits. In this sense, maybe Moshiri and Co will be very happy with us being constant top-6 and Champions League, whilst although us supporters will be happier, we'll be happy in the way that Liverpool and Spurs supporters are happy, tolerating it but not wholly accepting it.

Mike Oates
22 Posted 23/12/2018 at 13:30:56
Dave & Jim, not disagreeing at all that winning trophies is the things as supporters we want. I was there in '63, '66, '70, '85, '86 but unfortunately missed '95 and I'll never forget those days.

But we need big money competitions to grow, winning the FA Cup gets you over the whole 5-6 games from 3rd round to Winners will get you £6m, whereas Real Madrid picked up £80m as winners last year of the Champions League, and even the teams eliminated in the qualifying stages got £3m, and if you reached the group stage a further £12m, and if you reached last 16 a further £6m and then £6m for each stage after final 8, final 4. On top of all this is £500m TV money distributed on how many games your team play in totality.

If you want to compete at the top table you just have to get into the Champions League and stay there.

Top players want top money and top money goes only to Champions League teams – I hate it but that's life as it is now in football.

Mike Oates
23 Posted 23/12/2018 at 18:04:08
Forget the article, I'm totally wrong, we need a new manager and at least 16 players after that diabolical display against Spurs. Silva learn how to set up a team that can defend at least!!
Allen Hopkins
24 Posted 24/12/2018 at 16:42:08
Everton seem to have the ambition of a fruit fly. I'm tired of reading about this superstar and that superstar we can get for around £20M. We want to sell our rejects for that kind of money.

Superstars cost big £s – use Lukaku as an example who was sold for around £70M. You are not going to get superstars at Championship prices. We need to spend some cash or resign ourselves to being a mid-table team.

In January or the Summer, go out and buy a couple of established star players — not the wanna-be stars we usually buy. Look how much money Liverpool and Manchester City have spent then look at what they have gotten back in revenues.

I would hate to see the new Bramley-Moore Dock ground about half-full...

Andy Crooks
25 Posted 26/12/2018 at 17:48:41
Michael, there is just no getting past you! Okay, I have mellowed and turned 60 between those two emails. You are now like a properly licensed bouncer. Fair play, you run this site brilliantly.

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