When is Enough, Enough?

Paul Traill 03/01/2022 107comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 3 Brighton

In the last few months of 2019 a few of my match going mates and I were fortunate enough to enjoy some corporate hospitality in the Dixie Dean suite thanks to a good friend. Back then we enjoyed quite a few invites in quick succession, and the last time I came back from one of these, well-oiled after watching Everton vs Arsenal (Carlo Ancelotti had just become manager, we were gleefully expectant) I promised my nonplussed wife that I would take her along next chance I get.

Well a lot has happened between then and now. The global pandemic not only paused a season, but returned it behind closed doors, before pretty much a full season was played out without any supporters in the stadiums. Over two years on from the last time I was there, I was delighted to receive a message on New Years’ Day offering me a couple of tickets in the Dixie Dean suite for Everton vs Brighton. A promise is a promise, and thus Katja accompanied me for a most enjoyable day off the field at least.

On the pitch…well this nightmare feels never-ending doesn’t it? When we saw the team news we were all completely baffled as to how we would line up, and why we have three at back and only two midfielders. The satisfaction of seeing Dominic Calvert-Lewin return quickly dimmed by the prospect of Seamus Coleman at left wing back and Jonjo Kenny at right wing back. Our actual left back, aside from the unavailable Vitalii Mykolenko who was sat just near us as it happens, was on the substitutes bench, but remained unused throughout.

We were chasing the game from as early as the third minute when Alexis Mac Allister found the net. It all seemed to happen so quickly I can’t even exactly recall how it went in, and I haven’t had the heart to watch it back since.

Everton completely failed to get into any sort of groove and on 21 minutes 0-1 became 0-2. A well-worked, albeit badly defended corner kick was flicked on at the near post and then easily headed in at the back stick by Dan Burn. So numb to Everton’s woeful efforts these last few months you almost had to just shake your head, roll your eyes and watch on, though fair play to the guys in the Gwladys Street and Park End who certainly made their feelings known.

Our lifeline back into the game summed Everton up. A VAR penalty call which went in our favour after Anthony Gordon was felled from behind by Enock Mwepu. Particularly with no other serious contenders on the pitch to take the penalty, Dominic Calvert-Lewin stepped up but tried to be too clever with his placement and skied it over the crossbar. Again, all you could do is shake your head, roll your eyes and watch on.

At the break we went back to our table for a quick Guinness. Some nice fellas nearby who had travelled up from the Midlands decided they’d seen enough and watched the rest of the game on the screen from their table. We had a good chat to them after the game, and apparently the talk in the Midlands is that Mason Holgate is West Bromwich Albion bound.

Everton failed to really improve in the second half and we were not hard done to in losing. Anthony Gordon’s early deflected drive gave us hope, but we failed to build anything constructive. Rafa Benitez, continually stubborn as ever watched on as Brighton made a double change on the hour mark and refused to change anything. Katja even whistled in his direction and motioned for him to change it at one point.

Stick our left back on to get a left footer on the pitch? Nope. Get another body in midfield? No chance. Stick another striker on? Well he did this eventually but the damage was already done by then. Poor Mason Holgate made a fantastic recovery tackle, but you just kind of knew that it wasn’t enough to prevent the goal, and sure enough Alexis Mac Allister hammered in a good strike, and you felt that had finished Everton off, despite Anthony Gordon’s best efforts, the local lad slotting in what turned out to be his second consolation of the afternoon.

There were plenty of misplaced passes as Everton struggled to get into any sort of cohesion. When Rafa finally reshuffled, Ben Godfrey was at left back, and I would say that his body language was of a man totally fed up. He looked angry and disillusioned, and is unlikely to be the only one. The referee gave Everton plenty of time and opportunity to force another opportunity, but in the end Brighton had one hoofed clearance to many and the game was up.

At full time we waited to see if there was any farewell from Lucas Digne though there didn’t appear to be despite him being one of the last ones to leave the field. Just on Lucas for a minute, is it just me who feels that its madness is buying a left back before selling Lucas Digne? Well the whole thing is madness anyway, and I’m obviously not privy to if a deal has already been set up perhaps. But if a sale for Lucas now falls through does that not leave us in incredibly deep water with FFP rules, given we couldn’t spend much in the summer? Does it also not weaken our hand with player value? If a team knows we’re broke, and have already forked out what we can’t afford for a replacement, surely it is then simple for the buying team to simply offer less knowing that we don’t really have a leg to stand on. We’re not exactly now in a good position to play hardball.

Also, can anyone in the Gwladys Street tell me what happened when a Brighton player went over there after full time? Whatever he said or did caused quite a stir.

Back down at our table we enjoyed a few post-match drinks, most if not all unanimous in our belief that Rafa Benitez should not be managing Everton Football Club. Some say they don’t want to sack another manager, others ask “who should we get instead?”. Fair points and questions yes, but how many games do we have to lose before something is done? When is enough, enough? He should never have been appointed. It is never going to work.

Ronnie Goodlass was handed the microphone by the compare and he pulled no punches, his disdain for how we are performing palpable.

Once we’d finished our drinks we went across the road to The Winslow Hotel for a quick drink before getting a taxi back home.

A most enjoyable experience, marred by typically awful Everton.

Reader Comments (107)

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Tony Gavin
1 Posted 04/01/2022 at 07:22:24
As fans, we need to make our feelings clear. Farhad Moshiri and Rafael Benitez have had it far too easy. We need to push a "Rafa Out" protest or he will stay, he will take us down (next year if not this); he has already taken us backwards and the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will end up with flats built on it.

Unfortunately most of us are just accepting it (myself included, I give my tickets away now as my blood pressure can't take it) which means Moshiri and Benitez think there is no issue.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 04/01/2022 at 07:36:52
Imagine our position now if we hadn't had a half-decent start to the season?

We will stay up by the skin of our teeth probably because of those first four games and nothing else.

How much longer though you wonder can this yearly mediocrity carry on at Everton before you are right, Paul: "Enough is enough"?

Nothing ever changes at Everton: same shit different season – regardless of the manager or players – it's just the same lack of dynamism, same lack of hunger amongst the players, and the same lack of cohesive ideas.

I'm sick of being jealous of teams like Leicester, Wolves… even Brighton now have left us behind as a progressive attractive football side while the likes of West Ham under David Moyes have completely changed their ambitions into something we can now only dream of.

Nothing ever brings any surprises at this club, however, and it's the same failed season annually now with absolutely turgid football to watch.

You wouldn't mind the football being dross if it meant we actually kept clean sheets and won games now and then.

The BBC have got the Hull game on Saturday because they expect a shock; frankly, I think right now it would be more of a shock if Everton actually turn up and win!

Mal van Schaick
3 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:15:41
It sounds like you had a good time in hospitality…match aside.

I don't think any Evertonian believed the line-up with five at the back and Coleman on the left. It was a big mistake by Benitez.

The defence once again showed up its frailty and disfunction. Keane and Holgate can't play together, and for me, Holgate can go; even though he recovered with a great tackle, he doesn't read the game well.

There was some bluster from midfield in the second half and Gordon gave his all. Gray should've been central or on the right.

With the signings of two new full-backs, it should give us better balance and, on this basis, I would stick with Benitez, with Richarlison returning soon. Changing managers now could make a dire situation worse.

I am sure that we will improve in the next few weeks to fend off relegation and yet again rebuild and hopefully offload some dross.

Danny Broderick
4 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:40:29
Regardless of what has gone before, Benitez should be sacked based on what we observed against Brighton.

The starting lineup was a disgrace. 5-4-1 at home against Brighton?? Even if you dress it up as 5-2-3, it's still way too negative, leaving us desperately short in midfield.

Allan and Doucoure have proved to be a decent partnership in the past in a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. In the formation against Brighton, they were completely overrun. It was Mission Impossible.

To make no changes at half-time was also a disgrace. What had Rafa seen in that first half that the rest of us hadn't seen? Was his plan working well? Were we unlucky to be losing? Obviously, we all know the answer.

To have not started or introduced Lucas Digne was another disgrace. We are hardly awash with quality left-sided players. Get him on the pitch. If the fall-out with him is so bad, he should be nowhere near the first team. But if you are going to name him in the 18, you must be prepared to use him. What a waste having him sitting there.

Another disgrace is continuing with Rondon. He's not up to it. Why persist in playing him, instead of the young lads who did so well away at Chelsea?

Rafa needs to go. Our recruitment off the pitch is not his fault. The squad we have been left with is another disgrace considering what we have spent. But what happens on the pitch is – that is now 1 win in 12, 6 points out of 36. Out of the League Cup, and probably out of the FA Cup in the next round or two. Just get rid of him.

Let's face it, we are bottom of the form league for the last 12 games. We could appoint Mr Bean and we couldn't be any worse off.

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:46:49
When players make errors, mis-place passes, do not mark-up, do not track back, stay deep rather than move up, slow to start, miss penalties, seem not sure of tactics, seem to want to play different tactics, lack pace, lack of team work… "Enough is enough" has been the case at Everton for years under multiple managers. We have all seen similar performances multiple times.

The problem is that changing the manager will make little difference to the performance of most of the players in this squad.

The manager in the post-match interview said that in training the squad was prepared for the system of play and defending set-pieces, particularly the type of corner that resulted in the goal.

On the pitch, they did not play as instructed. So much for the work and effort put in by most players over an extended break. Which again is no surprise, given that enough is enough regarding performances after an extended break has been enough for years also.

Benitez spent approx £100, 000 in the Summer, not near enough, when most of the squad needs to be replaced and still does this over the winter transfer window. The necessary changes in backroom staff and structure have barely begun. As for the management of the club???

So a change of manager will make no difference. Any manager worth his salt after Ancelotti and Benitez will smell a rat.

Happy New Year, Evertonians. Against Hull, it will depend on what Everton turns up.

Actually, the more most of the squad is embarrassed, the better. I would not hold my breath for Digne being transferred to Chelsea or Inter Milan.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:47:14
Your headline is a question many ask themselves, Paul. For about 5 minutes, after which we're looking at when the next fixture is! We can't help ourselves.

I agree; regardless of how much they frustrate, anger and disappoint, it never takes away the enjoyment of the occasion.

Lee Courtliff
7 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:57:39
It was my first visit to Goodison in nearly 3 years. Paid £50 for a ticket in the Upper Bullens.

When I saw the team I was fully expecting Seamus to play on the right of a back 3 with Godfrey at left-back. I was actually looking forward to seeing his surging runs up the flank, as he's been playing quite well at left-back recently.

I couldn't believe it when I saw Coleman in that position. Simply bizarre from Rafa. But the main thing I took from the game was just how long Seamus takes to make a decision... holding onto the ball for far too long and stifling the attack.

We all know Seamus has been a brilliant player for us and that he's well past his best, but when you watch him up close you can see just how far he's fallen.

The two in midfield were completely overrun. Gomes should have been introduced much, much sooner. And refusing to play Dobbin was also very odd.

Just a disaster of a day from the players and, especially, the manager. Hopefully this be our Rock Bottom moment and we'll pick up with our new signings in the team.

Although, we seem to say that very often.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 04/01/2022 at 08:58:41
Holgate told the Gwladys Street end at the end of the first half to 'Shut the fuck up'. I haven't come across what the Brighton player said.
Peter Neilson
9 Posted 04/01/2022 at 09:07:26
I hope Benitez takes the opportunity to rest some of our first team at Hull and plays the youngsters. Might give us a fighting chance. Alternatively he could play Pickford in midfield and Keane up front. Tactical genius.
Barry Hesketh
10 Posted 04/01/2022 at 09:17:44
When is enough, enough? It is a question that many Evertonians have been asking themselves for quite a long time, but on Sunday, I spoke to a few of my mates and they are contemplating viewing Everton matches at home or in the pub, rather than at Goodison.

They believe that their efforts to get to the stadium, spending substantial time and money, is wasted as every game seems to have the same pattern: slow start, go behind, rally a little, sometimes recovering to win but mostly not.

Those I spoke to are of an age where they have seen the best of Everton, but I was troubled when I watched ToffeeTV and one of the presenters, who is a good 20 years younger than my mates, also said that friends of his, now see watching Everton as a chore. That is a terrible indictment of the current regime and squad, even in the darkest days of the '70s and '90s it never seemed to be a chore to watch Everton.

This disenchantment can't be laid completely at the current manager's door; it is the fault of all of those who make decisions at Everton Football Club. Many say that it is the 'hope that kills you' but I would argue that it is the lack of hope that will put off more and more people from attending games. It might start as a trickle but, if those in charge at Everton continue to ignore the zeitgeist, that trickle, may turn into a flood.

I know there are fans like Rob and Danny who would do anything to get into a stadium to watch their beloved Everton, and they should be applauded for their optimism and dedication, however, whilst I can't speak for those friends of the ToffeeTV presenter, my mates are no less committed to all things Everton, than any other fans.

To hear them contemplating watching Everton in the comfort of their own home or in a local hostelry, truly shocked me, it's not because of the money they spend or even the journies they make to get to the ground that has them thinking this way, but rather the hopelessness that has surrounded the club for some time that is the main driver of their thoughts.

Bill Fairfield
11 Posted 04/01/2022 at 09:39:38
I feel the disenchantment should be laid at Moshiri's door. We've had 6 years of utter incompetence. Even if he sacks the current manager, I've got no faith in him getting it right at any time.
Christopher Timmins
12 Posted 04/01/2022 at 09:45:05
Paul, glad to hear that the hospitality was top-notch in the Dixie Dean Suite. The quality on the pitch was as usual very poor. The manager did nothing to help things but at the end of the day we have a squad of moderate players. In the recent past we have lost to:

West Ham

None of the above (with the possible exception of West Ham) are in the running for a top 4 / 6 spot. One, Watford, are in a relegation battle, the others are all mid-table material and (with the possible exception of Brentford) are better than us, ie, the they are comfortable on the ball and can play joined-up football, the ability to pass the ball to a player wearing the same shirt is not beyond them.

I suppose the one plus from this whole mess is that we did not end up with Nuno, the second choice for the job back in the summer.

The current manager will probably see out the balance of the season and hopefully the new signings made during this window will improve things and push us closer to the top half.

Ken Buckley claimed that, half-way through the season, one could determine where we would finish, plus or minus one or two places from the position we found ourselves at that time, on that basis we will not finish in the top 10.

Thankfully, the teams occupying the bottom positions don't look as if they will get much more than 30 points this season, so we should be safe.

Paul Richardson
13 Posted 04/01/2022 at 09:45:46
We've nearly all had enough, but Rafa will stay because the club has signed him two new full-backs with another midfielder on the cards (Coutinho?) in this transfer window.

He's not playing Digne because he doesn't want him injured when so many clubs are looking for an internationally-proven left-back. If Digne doesn't get sold, the financial house of cards under FFP or whatever falls over.

However, and despite the injuries, you'd expect a manager of his experience to be doing better – mid-table at least, with a view towards pushing for the Top 6 in the second half of the season.

Joe McMahon
14 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:01:04
I can relate to your report, Paul. The only time I enjoyed hospitality was a dreadful non-scoring Moyes performance. Everyone at my table asking Greame Sharpe, "Why do we never get proven goalscorers, why do we never entertain?" 16 years later, I'd ask the same.

A past-it right-back at left-back tells me our manager is also past it.

Wolves did their research in obtaining their managers, Southampton often do (Pochettino). Why can't Everton be professional for once and not just go for an obvious name?

Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:01:29
The manager's mistake was not dropping Digne, who has been present in many a terrible defensive display; his mistake was not putting Godfrey in at left-back.

His other mistake is one he repeats. Two in midfield. The guy keeps making the same errors, he also keeps leaving his subs too late, and fails to utilise Dobbin, who is a far better foil for Calvert-Lewin than the hapless Rondon.

The zonal defending is appalling.

He needs to be sacked as, even in a best-case scenario, if we avoid the drop, we will have to endure next season watching this anti-football.

Andrew Ellams
16 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:03:55
This team will scrape just enough Arsenal and Chelsea type performances to keep their heads above water this season and then it will be all about who wants to stay on for next season.

Could be an odd close season this year though with players preparing for the World Cup rather than playing in it so maybe January will be a more important window next year.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:11:01
I know I've commented, but a simple answer to the headline.


I know that is naive of me and your account of the views of those disenchanted young Evertonians upsets me, Barry.

I still have my letter of complaint & telling off from Wolverhampton Wanderers from earlier this season after masquerading as a home fan and getting properly found out.

Peter Neilson
18 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:11:43
Barry, that's an excellent post and from my perspective, sums up how it feels going to the match now. I still cling to the hope that I will be there to witness the green shoots leading to our recovery, not just of this dismal season but as a club of stature. At the same time, I know that this isn't rational while the club is run by amateurs and charlatans.

Personally I do think we are in a relegation fight. The start of the season flattered us but the past 12 games or so tell their own story. Nearly a third of a season isn't a blip.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:23:57
I am really puzzled as to how we can buy 2 full-backs for around £40 million when we are already in breach of FFP rules. What happens if Digne refuses to leave? Who is next to have to be sold to avoid further penalties from FFP?

The players coming to the end of their contracts will bring in no transfer money, only reduce the wage bill, and that's if they chose to move in January. Also, the new players coming in will be on very good salaries so, even if those at the end of their contracts do move on, it won't make a huge difference to our FFP position.

I think the FFP position was what made Ancelotti walk away and why we weren't able to attract a more suitable appointment than Benitez. I think that our FFP position would deter many from coming here, hence why Moshiri (and Usmanov?) will hope that things don't get any worse where they will be forced to make a managerial change.

I think Moshiri (and Usmanov?) believed that Benitez would be hopefully a safe pair of hands to keep the club in the Premier League till the stadium was built, and I still believe that's why they will give Benitez at least another 4/5 games to turn things around. Because if it goes wrong and we drop even further then how many would want to take the job with the transfer window closed.

I argued for us to make Christophe Galtier our manager before they appointed Benitez but that ship has sailed, and Spurs had the money and the hindsight to replace Nuno Espiritu Santo with a world class manager like Conte.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:29:52
I can go back over forty years ago when fans were fed up watching Everton and thousands stopped going to Goodison Park, we were getting gates of 16,000 is so, one match around 10 or 11,000 turned up to watch a league cup tie v Coventry City when leaflets were given out with the demand “ Kendall must go “ or words to that effect, lots of those fans who stayed never came back even with the success Howard later brought to the club.

I’m not for one minute suggesting Mr. Benitez will be bringing that success but just saying, in a long post, that fans staying away because of boring as well as losing football is nothing new to Goodison Park.

Robert Tressell
21 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:30:24
Joe # 14, I agree the club needs to professionalise and that will make our managerial recruitment more effective.

Wolves and (maybe more in the past) Southampton have been very professional, well organised and strategic.

We seem to operate like we did at the start of the Premier League era having not noticed the commercial side of the game has moved on light years. Frankly it's astonishing we aren't sat alongside Sheffield Wednesday and Notts Forest in the wilderness.

Personally I credit Kenwright for playing his part, along with Moyes, in helping to avert relegation and obscurity for many years despite being penniless.

However, I firmly believe he is now holding us back with long outdated culture that permeates the club.

There's a lot to do behind the scenes before sacking and hiring a new manager will make a meaningful difference. Otherwise we're just lurching from one expensive fall guy to another without sorting out the real problem.

Hopefully, this January window bears a bit more fruit, someone breaks rank and stands on the back post at corners and Dobbin gets enough minutes to persuade him to stay.

Johan Elmgren
22 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:36:16
Imo enough is already enough. It will never work. It was an appalling appointment to begin with and the scenario now playing before us was anticipated by a large part of the fans. The fact is that if this hadn't been a pinpointed appointment by Moshiri, he would already have been sacked, several games ago. This run we are on, wouldn't have been tolerated at any other club, and wouldn't have been tolerated by Moshiri, hadn't FSW been his special choice. Now he's beeing stubborn and won't admit he was wrong. It was never going to work.

I'm not one either who wants to change manager every now and then, but if it isn't working you simply have to pull the trigger and try someone new. We have had loads of patience and he has really gotten a chance, but I can't see any signs of improvement on the pitch, rather the opposite. If I saw improvement it would have been another story, but it's getting worse...


Tony Gavin
23 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:40:26
I completely get the younger fans not turning up. I'm 40 and have had a lifetime of utter disappointment. My brother in Law said it feels like a curse to be a blue at times and I have to agree. I've always gone the game with my dad, had a season ticket for 34 years and if it wasn't for going with my dad I'd genuinely stop going. We've been a shit show of mediocrity for years. The club delighted finishing 7th and calling the DVD The Magnificent Seventh (remember that) under Moyes.

No ambition to win a cup, zero interest in the league Cup and the rare times we were in Europe we get told the league is the priority and bread and butter. Unfortunately it'll never ever change. Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Spurs, Utd, RS and Leicester are all much bigger and successful clubs than us in recent times and I can't see any way we ever break into that, new stadium or not.
Anyway, I'm going for a lie down in a dark room again.
Brian Harrison
24 Posted 04/01/2022 at 10:46:29

Like you I was at that Coventry game, I also think there was a league game when Bingham was in charge were we had a similar low crowd. I think what definitely changed things for Howard was appointing Colin Harvey as his assistant from then on things dramatically improved. I think it showed Colin was a fabulous coach and Howard became a great manager, just a pity that Hysel brought an end to that partnership. I don't think Benitez would ever appoint someone like Colin as he would never have anybody suggest we do something different to his mantra, were Howard allowed Colin to bring his ideas to the first team.

When you think of all the ex players we have employed it beggars belief that at no stage over the last 30 years did nobody think what a good idea it might have been if Colin had been brought back to oversee the whole academy operation or more latterly Peter Reid, both men had won the top trophies were most of our academy coaches have won nothing.

Adrian Evans
25 Posted 04/01/2022 at 11:12:19
If we are going to relieve Rafa of his duties after say 14 games, win, Who next???
Read an article by Stan Collymore ( know?!)

But does it make sense to look to a man who might instill an ethic.
One that the Peoples Club fan base might relate to.

Graft, honesty, reality organisation from top to bottom in a club.

We might not be shooting for the stars immediately, but could we do a Leicester City??
They are way ahead of us, given the past 5/6years.

Lets become a decent, solid football team, a team who can get results against top sides, whilst not looking over our shoulders at relegation.
It ain't going to be pretty to watch if we are in dog fight at the bottom.
We the faithful are not going to like watch, we are going to have to do to scrape enough points to stay up.Well if Benitez loses 4more out the 6 next games.
They all sides below or around us.

So for me GET Sean Dyche in.
He can fight relegation.

Rafa did and failed to stay up.

That question should be put to him.

What ever anyone thinks, we lose 4 of next 6 Rafa will have to go.

Adrian Evans
26 Posted 04/01/2022 at 11:20:22
If we lose to Hull, does Moshiri pull the trigger.

Would Shaun Dyche come.??

Bring a work ethic of hard graft,honesty,reality which most of the Everton Fan base would relate to.Not £200k a week salaries, no performace, or playing.

The club needs an overhaul top to bottom.
The flash foreign managers of millions aint worked.

Dyche has a track record of beating us with little resources.

He surely wants the chance to compete over 38games, with a top squad.

I want stability, consistency.Of course exiting football.But I will take the title of You don't want to go.to Goodison or BMD first.The Yellow Wall of Dortmond.
So Dyche I would take.He has the nerve and balls know how to keep us up.

Solid honesty, graft.

Stu Darlington
27 Posted 04/01/2022 at 12:56:31
Thank you Robert @21for another calm and considered post with just the right degree of optimism to counter the deeply depressing responses to Saturdays result
I,also was very concerned about some of the managerial decisions made on Saturday but agree that sacking and hiring a new manager at this juncture will make little difference.
I fervently hope that some new signings and recovery from injuries,covid etc will help us finish out of the bottom 3,unless there is something going on that we don’t know about!
I mean if the players are delivering on the training ground but it all goes out of the window on match days, is this another example of player power trying to get the manager sacked?
Whatever the reason without fundamental changes within the club we will at best be in for another Groundhog season
Peter Carpenter
28 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:23:08
Dave (20). I've still got the leaflet somewhere. They were grim times. I was travelling to games by motorbike and at one game dropped my helmet when we scored. It rolled all the way down the Gwladys Street terrace with no one in the way to stop it. I think many were kept away by economics too. Maggie Thatcher's scorched earth policy was in full swing and unemployment was sky high.

But it was fun too. A friend tells a story of Kevin Ratcliffe retrieving the ball for a goal kick and someone shouting out 'Ratcliffe, you're not doing anything, go and get us a hotdog.' KR looks up and replies, 'with onions?'
Bill Fairfield
29 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:28:31
Too many poor signings not up to the level of the club playing mediocre football. Too many players that need to move on. Too many players with a selfish attitude. Too many players not giving 100 per cent. Too many poor choices of manager. Too much hope and not enough brutal reality. It’s all a bit too much. This was posted by a united fan. It all sounds so like Everton
Paul Birmingham
30 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:30:23
Great shout Brian@20, regards Colin Harvey or Peter Reid.

The team have sadly become gung ho, and play like a Sunday morning ale house team.

From the efforts off a gritty performance at Chelsea, to loose in the way the team played v Brighton, will be another one on the notch of 100s of days of Infamy endured watching Everton the best part of the last 30 years.

The manager must realise now that his dysfunctional team selections, and were players are defeated before they get on the Park is not acceptable.

Hull and Leicester, massive games, will Everton be up for them? What will Rafa do?

Sadly hand on heart, the acceptance of mediocrity and piss poor attitudes at board level and first team management including this manager and his predecessors, bear testimony to the demise of EFC as a football power.

But it’s a funny old game but it’s gonna take some character to beat Hull, based on current form.

Hope eternal.

Paul Birmingham
31 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:32:21
Sorry I meant Brian@24, and also a good point raise date by Dave @20.
Peter Mills
32 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:49:18
Dave#20, your words are true. But many of us who kept going to Goodison in those dark days did so because we loved Howard Kendall. We had seen him as a great player, followed his career at Birmingham, Stoke and Blackburn, he was important to us.

Some may scoff at that, but football is nothing if it loses such emotions. The guy in charge now has done nothing to endear himself to us, in fact his modus operandi seems to be to alienate as many people as possible. Who did he think he was kidding when he expressed bemusement at the booing when he introduced Rondon on Sunday? It wasn’t the hapless player who was the subject of the crowd’s ire, it was the perverse decision by the manager.

Bill Rodgers
33 Posted 04/01/2022 at 13:51:40
What do you want to do - change the manager again?

I hope that they do and give it to Ferguson so that the dewy-eyed claptrap can finally be put to bed. Trouble is - it would probably mean a relegation.

Jerome Shields
34 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:06:50

United are five years behind Everton on the same tranjectory. They also are top heavy with a has been backroom and club management dictating the Club Culture.

When Ronaldo is retired in five years time, they will have a Rondon. Is Rojo still there?Please God keep Bill away from them during the transfer window

Mike Gwyer
35 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:08:43

Enough is Enough!

In all honesty we just don't get on. Full fucking stop.

No one like's that fat twat and for me his heart will always be with the red lot. Talk of Sundays game seems pointless, I mean how can anyone justify Coleman at LB and the continuation of playing Rondon?

There is obviously an agenda being played out by our manager, whether its against the board or a statement to Moshiri, but either way he is not concerned about Everton Football Club.

This great club deserves far, far better than RB.

Mike Doyle
36 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:13:13
Adrian # 26 ] Losing to Hull or anyone else in the FA Cup is unlikely to concern Mr Moshiri - as he/our board don't expect to win it anyway. The only thing that matters to our club (and in fairness quite a few others) is PL survival. While our current form is relegation quality, it would probably need us to drop into the bottom 3/4 for any action to be taken - particularly as we are now in the process of signing players RB wants.
Jerome Shields
37 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:17:36
We could lose against Hull. The players won't want a FA run, with a backlog of fixtures. More work for players who normally thinking Summer Hols in March.
Christopher Timmins
38 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:37:28
I hope that the current manager turns things around in the coming weeks. If he is sacked then I hope that whoever takes his place turns things around. I want the club to succeed regardless of who the manager is, end of.
Rob Halligan
39 Posted 04/01/2022 at 14:48:55
Adrian # 25 & 26. I could be wrong, but I’m sure over the last few weeks you’ve been shouting for Allardyce to return, now it’s Sean Dyche. So who’s it to be?
Jay Wood

40 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:02:48
I sniffed that too Rob. I've suspected for a while that Adrian is a troll on a wind up. I think his latest posts are further evidence of that.
Colin Glassar
41 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:07:52
The Michael Ball piece in the echo summed it up for me. After two weeks to practice tactics, formations etc… we looked a shambles.

Where’s this tactical genius we were promised? Where was the planning for this game? An 8 year old could’ve set that team up better than he did.

I’m not asking for his head as I don’t think anyone could turn this pile of shite around in the near term. The club is rotten from top to bottom he’s just the turd on top of the heap.

Pete Clarke
42 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:12:27
Benitez should never have been given the opportunity to be at our club and he should not be given any further opportunity to take us down. Give that opportunity to somebody who can build us back up.
The biggest problem is not Benitez though because Moshiri is proving to be 10 times more useless than Blue Bill. As far as I’m concerned he should be forced to sell up because he clearly has no boundaries when it comes to us supporters. He will keep on making reckless decisions
It’s actually unbelievable that a billionaire can be so stupid.
Barry Hesketh
43 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:18:30
Pete @ 42
The problem with Billionaires like Moshiri, is that everything is about money being the creator of even more money, the only solution that his type learns is to throw even more money at a problem. Whereas, a person who has built a business that depends on motivated staff and good management, learns about the pitfalls and traps that if not addressed can lead to bankruptcy.

You don't necessarily have to be street smart to become a billionaire, you only have to have a pile of cash and bet on the markets successfully to make your pile even bigger, oh and it helps if you have a friend such as Usmanov to help you out now and again.

Tom Harvey
44 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:18:47
Adrian Evans #26

"Would Shaun Dyche come.??"

I would have been happy to consider him up until now, that is until he started taking an interest in Mason Holgate?

It might be just pure rumour i've seen on the net or his DOF.

Peter Carpenter
45 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:23:28
We seem to be sat on an uncomfortable three-pronged dilemma.
1. A manager we didn't really want but would accept if he got results
2. An owner who knows little about football and is heavily influenced by a head-in-the-clouds romantic who thinks he knows lots and believes he is the eternal saviour of the club
3. Too many inadequate players who are not right for the modern Premier League - the result of a terrible transfer strategy going back about 5 years and wasting a huge amount of money.
To make matters worse;
Number 1 - the manager is not now getting results and seems to have retreated into a dictatorial, I-know-best mode which, judging by Sunday's decisions and non-decisions, is leaving most fans utterly baffled. I thought he might be the man to cut out the rot, even if it did leave blood on the floor, but it seems he is cutting out the rot by chopping the whole fecking tree down right now.
Number 2 - the owner has staked a lot on this manager, he can't back down now (quite apart from the financial hit) and have the fluffy one crowing about former managers who are currently doing quite well and whom he favoured for the job last summer, by the way.
Number 3 - too many players are injured, out of form or just not showing enough fight and determination to put together a run of results.
Are we stuffed? I'm looking nervously at the fixtures from April 2nd onwards. Not nice.
I'm guessing the manager is going nowhere for now. Too much has been staked on him by the owner and it seems there is a power struggle going on. And he's been given money to spend. Unless the flood waters are lapping around he owner's neck in February we are stuck with this manager. If that does happen, we can expect an emergency call to Duncan Ferguson in the hope that he can inspire a late dash to safe ground.
New players coming in offer some hope. Can they change the mood and get something going? It will be more the manager's team than ever before, so they should be all pulling together at least.
There's one other way he can change the mood around the ground at a stroke, play the young players. But if it's not his idea, he probably won't do it.
So, the last game is away to Arsenal. Either way, I don't think it will matter. It will all be decided by then. I think this is the most danger we have been in since 1998. Where are you now Gareth Farelly?

Colin Glassar
46 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:26:48
Pete, Barry, Moshiri is rich because he cooked the books for Usmanov for years and probably got a decent bonus for every billion he could hide offshore. He’s an accountant not an entrepreneur. He’s never built a company from scratch, never invented anything. He’s a bean counter who’s absolutely clueless when it comes to football.
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:38:34
Brian (24) yes Colin Harvey deserves plenty of credit, which to be honest gets, for helping Kendall start the revolution in Everton’s performances in those sad days, Kendall starting to give Peter Reid a game was a big turning point too.

Peter (32) Howard Kendall was a great footballer for me, could talk about him all day long, to be honest I wouldn’t have shed any tears if he’d been shown the door at that time, he’d wasted a lot of money on his initial seven signings with only two success’s out of them, both goalkeepers.

Howard was given the nod to carry on by Phillip Carter and gave us all our pride back, Hysel, as Brian says @(24) maybe took all the steam out of Everton and maybe caused Kendall to go to Spain but whatever Howard had achieved before he was never able to reproduce it anywhere else and we all know what had a big influence in the rest of his managerial career.

These are the saddest days we have ever seen for many of us Evertoniansand I understand the way many feel about Benitez, but what has gone before in the last few years have produced the flimsy squad we’ve got now, slowly starting to change, hopefully the better, I’m still prepared for Mr. Benitez to carry on and turn this hopeless case of a club around and move upwards but I definitely understand the despair of all our fans at the moment and the dark moods it puts us in.

Michael Williams
48 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:39:56
I'm supporting Benitez and here's why. This is the first manager who has said more is wrong with this club than the players, that he wants players who want to be here and he wants the players to fight hard. Rafa is trying to make big changes and I am willing to give him time.

I see Rafa trying to change the culture where these same players have been responsible for dismal performances for the last half-dozen managers we've had. If Digne has problems and acts like he doesn't want to be here - bye bye. Look what Tuchel did with Lukaku. When we had Lukaku every time he went on international break he told some non-UK press how he wanted to leave to play Champions League. Recently Lukaku expressed how he wanted to leave for Italy at some point and Tuchel said not on my watch and sat him down. Commentators and many fans said they need Lukaku against Liverpool and Tuchel stood strong. You either are committed to the club under Tuchel or you don't play - no matter who you are. We have need that for years.

I worked in an industry that is extremely competitive. At the end of the year there are winners and losers for everyone in the industry and the public at large to see. As you get older you do not lose your competitive desire, other things like stamina yes, but never the desire. Rafa has not lost the desire, nor anything else I can see. He will not put up with whingers and slackers. He never has.

He is trying to instill the values of hard work for the club. He knows this club and fans. One of the first things he said when he was hired was that Everton fans wanted see players putting in a hard shift for the club and even many people here said he understood the fans.

Everton is a mess and has been for many years. Too many good managers have come through here and failed miserably. This club has about six players who are PL average or better. Why does anyone think this club should be better than eighth or ninth even with DCL and without all the other injuries we've had? Maybe two or three of our players make the bench at a top six club - none for sure at a top four.

We were playing entertaining football before DCL got hurt and all the other injuries. Last year it was the same under Ancelotti before all the injuries hit. That's because we don't have the players and I blame the board and owner for this mess and their awful recruiting and buying.

Rafa is not just managing players, he's trying to make big changes and that is what we need. I am willing to give him time.

Barry Hesketh
50 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:52:36
Michael @48
You make a reasoned and intelligent assessment of what Benitez may be doing for the club, but is he really? I've no idea if he is or not. What does concern me is the sacrificing of points on home turf, due to flexing his managerial muscles, when there was little to be gained from it.

Lukaku has apparently been re-admitted to the Chelsea squad for their clash with Spurs, Digne doesn't appear to have a chance of ever playing for Everton again, even if he's not sold or loaned out.

What happens if the injury crisis doesn't abate in the second half of the season, will Benitez alter his style to suit? I want Benitez to succeed because I want Everton to succeed, I neither love nor dislike the man, if he manages to turn things around and soon, then fair enough, if he doesn't well he loses his job and is replaced by somebody else.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 04/01/2022 at 15:52:54
That's a fair stance and counter to those who want rid of the manager Michael Williams. I've said elsewhere that if he comes in, disrupts and changes the culture of the club as well as improving the squad he inherited, he'll have achieved something. I still fancy him to nick us a trophy. And I didn't want him appointed.

Dave, sometimes my son and youngest brother look at me in a perplexed way when I tell them I've seen worse days watching Everton!! You're right about that first wave of Kendall signings!

I suppose the issue now is that we've all waited too long to see us win something. Both the "lost" younger generation and the older ones. I think that's where the frustration is coming from as we've watched lesser clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City rise to the top of English and even European football.

But, there have been worse managers and worse Everton teams in my lifetime.

Michael Williams
52 Posted 04/01/2022 at 16:09:04
Barry #50 - yes Lukaku was re-admitted after he he apologized according to Tuchel. We never did that with Lukaku here when he did the same thing all the time. We don't know what Digne has said but Rafa said he wants players who play hard for the club.

Rafa has tried to adjust Barry. We did not play five at the back at the beginning of the year. He has changed players all time and formation several times due to injuries and Covid. Gordon now seems to a real part of the first team.

This club needs to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. It needs a complete clear-out. In order to build a winning culture everything must be torn down and re-built. It seems to me Rafa is trying to what he can even though this is all really the responsibility of the owner. That is why Man City, Chelsea and even Tottenham have left this club eating their dust.

Steve Brown
53 Posted 04/01/2022 at 16:22:11
I read a lot on TW that Benitez is 'changing the culture'. What evidential basis is there for that? I am genuinely curious.

As the manager responsible for the performance of the first team squad:

a) What has he changed?
b) Why has he changed it?
c) What success has he achieved?

And I mean evidence, not opinion.

Alan J Thompson
54 Posted 04/01/2022 at 16:30:06
Michael(#48); It is not Benitez's job to make big changes within the club, it is his job to organize players to win football matches and in that he is failing. If we are short of money for transfers now then what sort of position will we be in if we are relegated and there is a mass exodus and not just of the better players we have. I can't imagine Pickford, Mina, Richarlison, Gray or Calvert-Lewin wanting to play in the Championship when they could most likely move to clubs in the Champions League, not to mention representing their country.
Steve Brown
55 Posted 04/01/2022 at 16:33:38
That is the point Alan.

Benitez's only role is to manage the first team squad. if he is implementing a culture change, the outcome should be evident in results and performance.

Last season, we had 33 points after 18 games compared to 19 points this season. We were 7th in the table compared to 15th today.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 04/01/2022 at 17:44:07
I'll have a go at responding to that one, Steve @53.

What has changed? Medical staff, DoF gone and a much more targeted and decisive transfer window so far only 4 days in. I'm suspecting he's been central to that.

Why? Well 30 years of underachievement and failure by my Everton standards. And in a twisted way, it probably needs / needed a non-Evertonian to come in and disrupt the comfortable status quo that has existed.

Success? Well, that's difficult to measure in 6 months in and half way through a first season. The season ends in May, we'll know more then. Hopefully it will be an arse about-face season in comparison to last season's. What he may be trying to implement may not see success for a year or two. If ever as there are never guarantees.

I can only have an opinion, I'm afraid, as, like many here, I don't have evidence or insider knowledge, just a view on what I read and see.

Danny – who didn't want Benitez, by the way... and still can't use the first name.

Michael Williams
57 Posted 04/01/2022 at 18:53:47
Steve Brown (#55),

How daft can you be? You can't change a team culture overnight, especially when it and the ownership have accepted mediocre effort and results for decades.

It is a process. You have to instill discipline and accountability. You have to get rid of the deadwood and malcontents and replace them with people with more talent who work harder and smarter. The person trying to make these changes needs to be backed or mediocrity wins.

Why aren't our results better? Maybe a large part of the reason is we have missed one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League for almost the entire season.

Perhaps it's also because we missed our other best players like Richarlison and Doucouré and many others at the same time. We cannot succeed with this many absences. This is an average team with its fair share of average players.

I don't care who our manager was employed by previously because I believe he wants to win. If Benitez is really trying do what I think he is, it is going to need time.

Michael Williams
58 Posted 04/01/2022 at 19:03:51
Alan 54 - Get a grip. We are not going to be relegated. Calvert-Lewin is back and should be in form soon. Our other players look to be coming back and needed reinforcements are coming (although I hope TWers give them time to adapt).

Also, there are at least three teams below us who will not pass us.

Barry Rathbone
59 Posted 04/01/2022 at 20:47:17
Enough was enough when the club and a lot of the fanbase settled on existing in the top division, à la Coventry back in the Moyes days. I remember people posting here warning of future chickens coming home to roost and now they've landed.

This isn't the manager's fault this is a result of no ambition over years culminating in another dreadful squad (we've had a few) exposed by an injury crisis like no other. It was just a matter of time.

Kieran Kinsella
60 Posted 04/01/2022 at 21:09:30
Barry Hesketh,

I cannot remember the last time I was actually excited before a game and didn't view it as a chore.

If we play Liverpool, Man City etc, it's always like "Hope it's not a cricket score" if it's a crap team, eg, Sheffield Utd at home, it's a banana skin.

The cup games are always "Oh God, we are away to a top six team again" or "Oh God, we are away to a Championship team, à la Millwall, who will upset us."

It is a chore... like going to a funeral for the same relative 40 times a year, year after year.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 04/01/2022 at 22:02:15
Michael (57),

Benitez is going to need time, as you say, along with help and trust off the people he is working with. That's why he is trying to change the culture of the club, because he is still trying to find out who he can trust and who he can't trust. It's only 5 or 6 months but I hope he turns that into 5 or 5 years. If he does, the culture will change for the good of the club.

Rob Dolby
62 Posted 04/01/2022 at 23:30:37
No matter who our manager is, we all want him to succeed and will continue to support the club regardless.

Once upon a time, I was right behind us bringing in Mike Walker. Tongue in cheek, He had a sticky start but was going to run the club his way.

He was an outsider who could spot what was required. We just didn't give him time to establish the dynasty that he promised… I suppose we will never know!

Currently, I have never known such a low atmosphere going to the game but Benitez is promising that he will only bring players in that want to play for us, so that's good enough for some of us, whatever that means.

Leaving Digne on the bench against Brighton was an absolute masterstroke and show of power, regardless of the result, but people on here still want him!

Watching us getting battered at home and away, regardless of opposition, seems also to be good enough for some on here – 6 out of 36 is okay for some!

Reminds me a little of the scene in Titanic when the band played on. At some point, he will get fired. I just hope that it's mathematically possible for us to stay in the Premier League – if not this season, then next.

I believe he was appointed to keep us in the Premier League until the stadium is built; no more, no less. I just can't get used to eating shit sandwiches every week and fellow Blues saying that they enjoy them!

Alan Moss
63 Posted 04/01/2022 at 23:55:41
I really can't believe how many Benitez sympathisers there are still out there.
Steve Brown
64 Posted 04/01/2022 at 23:56:39
Michael @ 57, 'how daft can you be' and 'get a grip?'.

Is that honestly the best you can do to provide evidence of the culture change you claimed that Benitez is undertaking? Not even ONE example of improvement?

You are an evidence free zone my friend. Keep blowing out the mindless platitudes.

Tony Hill
65 Posted 04/01/2022 at 00:02:32
I still think Benitez will see us through. I just have an instinct that he's going to change things for us.

I entirely grasp why others think the opposite. We will find out. I agree with those who consider that the next few games - and, possibly, only the Hull game - will be decisive.

Steve Brown
66 Posted 05/01/2022 at 00:17:56
Tony, we all want to win against Hull next week. That is what unites us as blues. And actually, I don't want Benitez to be sacked mid-season as we don't have a DoF to manage the search. I certainly don't trust Moshiri or Kenwright to do it.

But can we park this 'he is changing the culture' nonsense, as there is zero evidence of that. And as someone who is responsible for leading major culture change projects in my job, it is frankly beginning to annoy me.

The barriers to culture change are lack of trust, openness, team work, 'can-do attitude' and focus on the customer (i.e. the fans). If Benitez wants to convince myself and others that he is the right man, then start with them as they will result in improved performances and results.

And it will be performances and results that decide his fate in the next 6-8 weeks, no matter what any of us say on here.

Tony Hill
67 Posted 05/01/2022 at 00:25:07
Steve, I’m not sure the most successful football managers are anything other than narcissistic psychopaths but, as you say, results are all.
Stephen Vincent
68 Posted 05/01/2022 at 00:35:16
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say that Benitez was being deliberately kept on to take the focus away from the shocking performance of the board and the owner.
Pete Clarke
69 Posted 05/01/2022 at 00:40:01
The evidence for Benitez as a modern manager to work things out is being played live right in front of us.
I’ll start with his decision to bring Rondon to the club. An aging less than average striker who is well out of shape. He chose to play him and probably cost us a few points in the process.
His latest decision to leave a full international left back ( albeit not in good form ) on the bench and play an out of form right back in his place just shows how ignorant and outdated his ways are.
In between all of this he has not found any kind of style or rythem for us to play. We are poor with the ball and shocking in defense.
Hopefully the new lads will bring a bit of stability to the team but this guy is running out of time to get results.
There is always one team in the prem that are really really poor and anchored to the bottom but just absolute fortune for us that this season there are 3 teams doing it and so we have kept our position above the drop zone. The next few games are the tipping point because one or two teams will scratch wins and if we lose to one of them then it’s deep shit we’re in.
Michael Williams
70 Posted 05/01/2022 at 02:00:16
Steve 64 - Here's any easy improvement for you - Gray and Townsend for peanuts.

Now to the meat of what you are asking. Benitez changed the medical staff. How many players have we had who almost immediately re-injured whatever they were supposed to be back from?

He sat Digne, a player who didn't want to play, and now is being replaced. A decision of which I agree because - accountability ( see Tuchel sitting Lukaku analogy discussed above). These are good moves.

I also gave you my reasons why changing culture takes time and improvement may not be immediate. I also argued that losing DCL, Richie. Doucoure, Alan and others for so long makes it incredibly hard to to have any semblance of a good record.

All this is to say the immediate improvements you desire may not be very realistic in the first six months of the manager's tenure.

Alan J Thompson
71 Posted 05/01/2022 at 02:59:12
Michael(#58); Wake up, there are only four teams with fewer points than us and we have to play Burnley once and Newcastle twice. Lose those and results in the next round go wrong and we are in the bottom three. There doesn't have to be three worse than us just two who get better results than we do, and who isn't. You just seem to want us to roll along as we are doing and think everything will be alright?!? That doesn't even rate as mediocrity!
Michael Williams
72 Posted 05/01/2022 at 04:20:56
Alan 71 - First relegation. I do not believe we will be relegated. DCL is back and should be in form soon. Most of the rest should be back soon, certainly soon enough to put together enough results to stay up. That is enough quality to stay up. That however is not what I want for this club every year.

I am not settling. I am arguing for the biggest changes for this club possible. This is a mediocre organization and it has been for decades. I want it all blown-up, razed to the ground and replaced with modern thought, analysis and planning.

I also want a winning and professional mentality inculcated into the organization and everyone who works in it. If a player or ticket-taker can't make the grade they need to go.
Most of what needs to be done is up to the owner.

I am not going to keep arguing why (see my previous posts on this thread), but I see a manager who does not nor has he ever accepted mediocrity. He appears to be trying to establish a mentality that at the minimum a player must want to play for the club and when they do better give their best effort. Once that work ethic is established a team can start taking the next steps.

Best to you.

Danny Baily
73 Posted 05/01/2022 at 07:06:56
Michael, we've gone a third of a season winning just one game (and been awful throughout). Relegation is absolutely on the cards.

We are a shambles under Rafa. More than we ought to be even when considering the players that have been missing.

Tony Everan
74 Posted 05/01/2022 at 07:18:06
Dave A, 20

I remember those times as a teenager, and the feeling about the club around the time of that Coventry match in 1983 before our mid eighties success. I remember parking at the Mons and trudging to games in the rain, for what? For the love of Everton and nothing else. It’s like a marriage you are solemnly committed to , ‘For better or for worse’.

With advance season ticket sales now we are in a completely different era, but the sentiment amongst fans is similar. The situation is similar. The leaflets you refer to, I remember them,, were asking for the heads of Kendall and the chairman. We were 16th and about to play second division Stoke in the FA cup.

What followed that season is part of Everton’s history. I’m not so confident of history repeating itself in that fashion, but maybe longer term we can make incremental progress following this and next summers transfer windows, coupled with a more youthful energetic side finding essential confidence that comes with one or two wins.

Here’s a good article from the Guardian six years ago highlighting those difficult times and the resurgence. Worth a read.


Danny O’Neill
75 Posted 05/01/2022 at 07:37:55
Stephen Vincent @68, related to your point, this is why I keep banging on about continuous managerial change not being the solution to our long-term success. We keep changing fall-guy after fall-guy whilst the root of the problem hindering progression remains in place. In my opinion (sorry Steve!).

Steve Brown, okay if the phrase culture change annoys you then I'll describe it as Benitez putting his own stamp on things.

But really what's needed is a change of culture throughout the club. A change of mentality and a change of mindset. Not short-term reactions to runs of poor results. For 6 or 7 years now we've pretty much focussed on rinse and repeat. Focussing on managers is short-termism.

The answer lies way beyond the first team manager. Look at Manchester City and Chelsea as clubs now compared to the Manchester City and Chelsea I knew when I was 14 (1984). On Sunday I sat on a seat placed on a wooden floor with the stadium not looking much different to back then. I went to the same chippy I went to back then. Nostalgic? Yes? Loved it? Yes. But we haven't moved on. We all know that, so I know I'm preaching to the converted.

When I go to Chelsea, the stadium is unrecognisable from 1984.

So, I get what you're saying, but for us mere mortals who read all things Everton, there is no evidence, but he does appear to be marking his territory.

Mike Gaynes
76 Posted 05/01/2022 at 07:46:52
No, we're not gonna get relegated.

We've won more games than the bottom 3 combined, and they're not gonna get any better. And we have reinforcements arriving off the transfer train and the injured list.

Kunal Desai
77 Posted 05/01/2022 at 08:27:59
Until we get a board of directors that are experienced enough in knowing how to be build and run successful companies Everton won't change.
Change is brought about and filtered down from the very top, i'm just baffled as to why the owner would continue to persist with keeping on Kenwright and DBB if he had any intention of taking this club forward.

I now question the owners committment? employed an ex Liverpool legend, a manager whose ideas and tactics were outdated many years ago. An owner who doesn't even bother turning up to games any longer. Has he lost interest other than continuing his efforts to build BMD?

If that man at the top of the helm is making poor decision after decision what message does that send out to all those employed within an organisation.

Where is the communication from our owner to its fans, instead he goes through some no mark in the media to channel it.
I mean who there right mind comunicates through Jim White???
It's madness, absolute amateurish in the logic behind it an how one would even comtemplate communicating in this form.

Danny Baily
78 Posted 05/01/2022 at 08:35:21
Mike 76, I wish I shared your optimism. Just don't see where the points are going to come from given the way we're playing.

I find it staggering how complacent we are acting, as a club and a fanbase.

Steve Oshaugh
79 Posted 05/01/2022 at 08:59:17
I don't see us getting relegated either but I'm not steadfast in that opinion. We're on the fringe of it and are a couple more injuries or dodgy VAR decisions away from getting dragged into it properly.

I've been prepared to give Rafa time and frankly don't care who he has managed previously. The weekend was a turning point for me. He should have found a way to play Digne. He might not be in vintage form but he is still a decent left-back.

Playing 5 at the back at home against anyone but Man City, Chelsea or you know who is beyond poor management. It is frankly giving up before the game starts and saying the other team are better than we are. Inexcusable.

Hopefully, it comes right and we can get back to some of the enjoyable footy from the first few games but Benitez now has to show me something different before he gets the benefit of the doubt from me again.

Christine Foster
80 Posted 05/01/2022 at 09:19:39
I think the fear is either Benitez possibly thinking he can offload Richarlison, DCL or Pickford despite his comments regarding keeping them. What was interesting was that he said basically apart from the, he will take offers on any of the others. Whilst it may be true, it's not what the players themselves need to hear, just reinforces their insecurity irrespective of any contract in place. Best to have been said quietly on any interest. He certainly is not afraid of upsetting players but I am not sure that's always the best option.
On the other hand, the good players might be looking to get away if the ship continues to sink. That is a fact of life, but one which we cannot afford.
Alan McGuffog
81 Posted 05/01/2022 at 09:23:25
Danny 51...just as a debating point this. You say you've seen worse Everton teams. Now I think I started going a year or two before your good self and I have seen some dross over the years. But a worse outfit than this ability to control a football, see a pass, use space, care, pride, athleticism. well you've got me thinking.
Brent Stephens
82 Posted 05/01/2022 at 09:36:28
Christine #80 "I think the fear is either Benitez possibly thinking he can offload Richarlison, DCL or Pickford despite his comments regarding keeping them"

Christine, I just recoil in horror at the thought of us "offloading" any of those three. One step forward, one step backwards.

Peter Carpenter
83 Posted 05/01/2022 at 09:58:35
Alan (81) I've definitely seen worse Everton teams than this. What I haven't seen is more baffling decisions in one game from the manager, from team selection to set up to substitutions. I'm trying to think of anything similar but struggling. Pick the best available players, in the right positions and attack the opposition and we should be ok. I'm worried that this manager has some strange mental block about doing that. We can go down if he doesn't get a grip soon.
Brian Harrison
85 Posted 05/01/2022 at 10:28:37
I really cant believe there are still Evertonians out there who are backing Benitez in his quest to change everything. Football as we are always told now is a business, so tell me what business would appoint a man to run the company who has very little empathy with its customers. But to compound that he sees a massive downturn in sales and profits crash through the floor, a business that for a number of years despite lacking investment has always been amongst the top 10 businesses in its sector. How long do you think any business would leave this man in charge answer not very long.

Now take one of its rivals to show the difference if you appoint the right man with the right business acumen and an affinity with the business. A man who had previously worked for the company so knew it very well, who had worked under probably the worlds best manager and also inherited a business that had underperformed. Despite a rocky start within a couple of months he had completely rejuvenated a business and hadn't got rid of key people and only bought in a couple of young workers.

Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 05/01/2022 at 11:13:29
Putting me on the spot Alan?! But yes, good debating point.

My memories of the later Gordon Lee teams were not great. Even Howard's fist stint saw some poor signings and decisions in the early seasons as he played around trying to get the right formula. But history and the league finishes won't tell you that. Generally 7th and 8th before we hit the jackpot.

Although 7th and 8th in the context of there not being a top 4 providing Champion's League back then wouldn't be as impressive a finish as it would this season if we somehow pulled that off. The difference, and this isn't just my nostalgic hindsight or my Soothsayer powers at the time, despite that dark winter of 83, you felt something was going to happen.

But if I'm going to single out teams based on gut feeling as to how I felt at the time, I'm afraid it was Howard's second and 3rd coming as well as the last throws of Walter Smith's reign. I felt pretty low as an Evertonian in those periods.

Robert Tressell
88 Posted 05/01/2022 at 11:22:00
Brian # 85. I guess you're talking about Arteta compared with Benitez.

He's doing well now but must have been close to the sack a few times. They chose to stick by him and are now seeing a rebuilt team starting to look like it is going places. It's taken a lot of money to get there - along with a focus on developing younger players and everyone pulling in the same direction.

Benitez has arrived at a club in a mess, financial constraints, loss of Sigurdsson in bizarre circumstances, dysunctional deteriorating squad, no clear strategy etc.

How well would Arteta, with no track record in management, have performed?

Taking Arsenal as an example, should we not stick by Benitez in order to reap rewards of his squad overhaul later?

That is not to say I'm a huge supporter of Benitez by the way - more to say that managerial chopping and changing does little to address our real problems which are largely off the pitch.

Alan McGuffog
89 Posted 05/01/2022 at 11:25:23
Danny...thinking about it that three nil surrender at Boro' takes some beating. Was that the end for Walter ?
Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 05/01/2022 at 11:32:54
Brian, I think Robert's last paragraph captures a lot of people's sentiment. It's not that many of are comfortable with Benitez or nowhere near pleased with what we've been seeing. It's wanting to see an end to the constant managerial roulette we've been playing.

Talking of wanting a manager, since Moyes left, I didn't want Martinez, my memory of Koeman the footballer blinded my judgement, didn't want Silva, don't / didn't want Ferguson (or Unsworth) and didn't want Benitez. I didn't fancy Arteta either by the way.

Easily pleased me!!

Geoff Williams
91 Posted 05/01/2022 at 12:34:59
I am dumbfounded that there are still people who think Benitez is the right man for Everton. The man is stubborn and divisive. His ability to alienate players is amazing. He sets about character assassination by spreading rumours about those who the temerity question his methods. When did James or Digne say they didn't want to play for Everton? We only have Benitez's word for this. The man is insecure that is why he cannot accept anyone challenging his methods. Having him supposedly designated to change the 'culture ' within the club will prove to be a catastrophic mistake. Nothing about this man indicates he has the ability to modernise the club either on or off the field. We now have an owner and a manager who are clueless and are taking the club on a downward spiral. Our only hope of avoiding relegation is that there are three clubs worse than we are but based on the last 10 matches there isn't.
Anthony A Hughes
92 Posted 05/01/2022 at 12:43:38
A manager/first team coach will always be judged by results on the pitch.
Iain Latchford
93 Posted 05/01/2022 at 12:47:09
Not sure if anyone listens to Jake Humphrey's podcast "High Performance". He basically interviews successful people and talks about how they got to where they are etc.

There is one with Steven Gerrard which I decided to listen to (bit of a strange thing to do I agree). Anyway, he says that Benitez was the most tactically knowledgeable manager he has worked with, and the one who developed his game the most. Agreed this was some time ago, but it is something to consider.

Barry Hesketh
94 Posted 05/01/2022 at 12:47:44
Ten points won from the opening four fixtures, nine from the following fourteen. The first four games were against Southampton, Burnley Leeds, and Brighton.

Incredibly out of the nine points gained since that opening period, six have come from matches with Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, and United, with another three gained from beating Norwich City.

It's a bloody good job we had the new manager bounce in those first four games, isn't it?

Dave Abrahams
95 Posted 05/01/2022 at 13:01:39
Anthony (92), not this manager Anthony, it will not make a lot of difference, if any, to quite a few fans on here no matter how much success Mr.Benitez might bring to Everton FC he will still not be accepted by them.
Mick O'Malley
96 Posted 05/01/2022 at 13:13:16
Mr Benitez will not bring any success to Everton, I for one am sick of looking at his miserable dour face and can’t wait to see the back of him, one of the worst managerial appointments in my 50 plus years of supporting Everton, I am pretty easy going but I absolutely despise the man with a passion Geoff@91 spot on sir!
Mick O'Malley
97 Posted 05/01/2022 at 13:30:02
Oh my god I’m absolutely flabbergasted that there are still fans wanting Benitez here for 5 plus years! I don’t want him here 5 minutes, the man is absolutely useless, an embarrassment to our club, I am embarrassed that he is the manager of Everton, I am on the verge of not caring what happens to us til that divisive out of touch dinosaur has pissed off from our club Benitez out now! I will never accept him and his continued presence in our dugout is making me hate being a blue, and yes one of the many reasons is because he managed that shower over the park Michael Williams @various, he’s only saying he’s changing the culture of the club cos he hasn’t got the ability to get the players to play better, if we lose Saturday he has to be gone first thing Sunday, I hope the away fans give it to him big time if we put up another typical Benitez performance
Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 05/01/2022 at 13:36:25
Geoff@91, I heard that Digne said he didn’t want to play the other day, because he wants to leave. I obviously questioned why he hadn’t just been left out of the squad, and was told that it was possible that doing such a thing, might possibly lower his value.

I’m not sure, but for every player who doesn’t seem to like him, there is another who will probably say the complete opposite, but that’s most footballers really, they like you when they’re doing well, but when they’re not, sometimes it’s easier to look for excuses and blame somebody else?

I heard Gerard could never understand why Benitez never used to praise him Ian? Although it didn’t stop him giving everything for his team, because the man seemed to have a built in desire to always do his best, and that’s why sometimes I think “a lot of footballers” get away with murder.

Iain Latchford
99 Posted 05/01/2022 at 13:51:49
Tony, I've also read the Gerrard found Benitez quite difficult to work with and that they didn't have particularly close relationship. He doesn't mention this on the podcast though. I was really just making the point that he rates Benitez from a tactical point of view, probably more in hindsight. The manager is employed to get the players to execute his game plan, not to blow smoke up their arses. Personally I think Digne was asked to do certain things he didn't want to and didn't like it. My view is that if you're on £50k+ per week you do as you're told.
Dave Abrahams
100 Posted 05/01/2022 at 14:15:39
Mick (97) Yes I want Mr. Benitez here for another five years or ten if it’s possible because it means that he is doing very well.

You want him out after six months, I want Kenwright out after twenty years or more.

I want the Everton away fans to be cheering the team off the field on Saturday night, it will mean that we have won.

Robert Tressell
101 Posted 05/01/2022 at 14:20:54
Mick # 97. I'm sure Benitez will be gone by the end of his 3(?) year contract. He's bucking an unfortunate trend if he lasts more thsn 18 months.

Hopefully we're putting in place the sort of club architecture that allows a more progressive manager to step in from there. Potter is the current flavour of the month - like Rodgers and Martinez previously. It'll probably be someone else in 18 months.

If Benitez stays longer it will be because he's turned it around and been a success, something we can probably all tolerate.

Rob Dolby
102 Posted 05/01/2022 at 15:45:48
Football has changed a lot in the prem era.

Sacking a manager is common place. Why can't people embrace that fact and accept it's common practice. We aren't getting near the top 3 so why not change the manager?

There will always be the flavour of the month managers as they punch above their weight and then slip back into what is expected of the club based upon finances. Potter, Rogers and Dyche are examples.

The biggest club in world football have swapped managers since Ferguson retired. Chelsea have swapped and changed, City swapped and changed until they landed the big fish.

Why can't we swap and change until something sticks. Justifying this fellas position by wanting 'stability' or his own stamp is burying your head in the sand.
This fella is so bad people will end up wishing for Moyes back for another 11 years of nothing.

Imagine if Benitez had all of city's money and he brought in players that just wanted to 'play for the blues' whatever the fk that means. Giving him his utopian platform.
Are people forgetting that his supposed style of football is functional at best.
We would still be light years behind the top 3.

We haven't broken our transfer record for 5 years in an era of the 50m bench filler at the top club's. That leaves us with no more than pride when it comes to contesting against the big boys.

Has Benitez got it in him to restore some sort of pride amongst fans that he once belittled? Fans at the match are actively turning against each other over this guy.

He has to go.

Alan J Thompson
103 Posted 05/01/2022 at 16:08:08
Michael(#72); I do agree with you that changes have to be made at the top of the club but that should not be the responsibility of the man employed to get results on the field which is something he is not achieving. It doesn't matter what we believe but if he doesn't turn around the form of the previous dozen games then we will be relegated, it is just a simple equation. I too want a winning mentality but like Martinez and Silva, I don't see it coming from any manager who has been in charge of a relegated team and who can't reason/explain to his players why he wants them to play in a certain manner.
Brian Wilkinson
104 Posted 05/01/2022 at 17:20:13
Dave@20, spot on about that 40 years ago about the leaflets, 3 years into Kendall’s spell, where he had already assembled a team, interesting to know that both that first half season and this seasons first half, Both Kendall and Raffa had the same amount of wins, 5 each, however Kendall took a team to rock bottom Wolves, who if I remember right had gone six Months without a home win, or there abouts, and we got rolled over 3 nil.

Could the Hull City game be the Stoke cup game, I certainly hope so.

Michael Williams
105 Posted 05/01/2022 at 19:19:24
Alan @103,

You say: "I don't see it coming from any manager who has been in charge of a relegated team and who can't reason or explain to his players why he wants them to play in a certain manner."

1. We are not going to be relegated for reasons I explained above.

2. Who says Benitez can't explain what he wants his players to do? Townsend has said numerous times that Benitez is never satisfied and even after a game when he scores Rafa will tell him thinks he needs to do to improve.

Watch a show called "Soccer Box" with Gary Neville in which he interviews famous ex-players like Wayne Rooney. Neville asked Steven Gerrard (yeah I know, I don't like him either) questions about Gerrard's managers and Gerrard's comments were that he enjoyed playing under Brendan Rogers the most because they had more of the ball.

He wanted to win the most for Houllier because he was like a father figure and wanted to make him happy. Gerrard said that Rafa got the most out of him because he pushed him so much to improve. You have to watch the whole show because the discussion is in one segment and they come back to it later.

Alan J Thompson
106 Posted 06/01/2022 at 10:16:08
Michael(#105); So you are banking on those players who have been out injured for several weeks coming back in at their peak which didn't appear so in Calvert-Lewin's return, nobody getting injured in the second half of the season as they were in the first half and/or the current bottom three clubs (or four with fewer points than us) not doing better than we have in the last dozen games.

As for who says Benitez can't explain what he wants his players to do, ermm, Benitez did in his press conference when he said they had been practicing the set up and defending set pieces all week. So, he either got it wrong or didn't explain so that the players could implement it. Or maybe, like Digne, didn't feel free to comment on it.

I'm sorry but I don't need anyone to explain what happened some years ago when you can see his effect on our team but did they comment on or interview somebody from his time at Newcastle and in China?

I just haven't seen anything from this man that makes me think he can turn around that which he has overseen so far this season.

Rennie Smith
107 Posted 06/01/2022 at 17:25:15
“If you analyse my teams, they are aggressive, they go on the front foot and press, and try to regain the ball high up the pitch, create chances and score goals,” Benitez told evertontv.

What is this idiot on about, who does he think he's kidding? I haven't seen a single scrap of evidence of this, he wouldn't know a high press if it kicked him in the bollocks. We barely get out of own half regardless of who we're playing.

Brian Murray
108 Posted 07/01/2022 at 04:06:26
The answer to the article is it will be enough when this vice like grip on the club by bk decides he’s too old no matter what state we are in or what division or what manager is in place. Everton are very secondary to that.
Raymond Fox
109 Posted 07/01/2022 at 16:02:14
The sad fact is we are not a top 6th to 8th club anymore, thats not to say we cant be again,
Have we any outstanding players now, a few good ones yes but outstanding, thats debatable.
We cant perform at home unless its against the top teams, we seem to perform better when we are not favourite.
As far as the Benitez debate goes, the only thing I would say is Benitez knows the game inside out, he obviously thought that the formation he chose against Brighton was the best for that game. Nobody gets it right everytime. Regardless, Brighton are no mugs and we should have still drawn the game.
We will finish no lower than 12th position come the end of the season I'm confident of that.

I say the same thing every season and now, its the players we keep buying thats the problem not the managers we employ.

Alan J Thompson
110 Posted 08/01/2022 at 01:22:39
Towards the end of last season we still looked a possibility of qualifying for some sort of European competition but fell in a hole. This manager has now brought in seven players albeit that includes Rondon and two aging keepers and we are nowhere near qualifying for anything other than the Championship.

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