We’ve spent 4 of the last 6 seasons in relegation battles and escaped extremely narrowly.  In the past, the squad has underperformed its way into trouble.  Last season, we definitely overperformed our way to safety.  We were routinely putting out a First XI weaker than other clubs, often including Southampton. Make no mistake, we are a really long way off being a big club.

Sean Dyche, fortunately, is a very good manager for the circumstances.  The issue is the squad, recruitment and player development. Although we’re going to get impatient when we see other clubs doing transfer business (and some of it the likes we can only dream of) I expect we will have a better squad (or at least a better-balanced squad) come the end of the transfer window.

According to ToffeeWebers, we need pretty much a new player for every position – with only Tarkowski, Garner, Patterson and McNeil being generally considered worthy by everyone.  There are similar comments that we “need” an Arab takeover too.

Whether we really do “need” these things depends on what the objective is for next season (and maybe the next three seasons).

If the objective is to get into the Champions League and compete for titles, then we really do need pretty much a whole new squad and at least £2bn to buy it.  Even then, there are up to 7 other clubs with similar aims and objectives – and only 4 Champions League spots.  Even if a Sheikh turns up tomorrow, those 7 other clubs already have an enormous head start, and we’d be without the lure of Champions League football needed to tempt ready-made quality players to the club. 

So let’s be honest about the real objectives of the club.  Next season, I think these are:

  • ·       Get out of the relegation cycle into mid-table;
  • ·       Compete in the cup competitions;
  • ·       Get through a season without sacking a manager;
  • ·       Score more goals; and
  • ·       Add a few more players to the existing group, who can begin to form a 3- to 5-year dynasty at the club.

On that basis, we need a stronger attack and better depth in a few positions. Some of the underwhelming players we’ve been linked with, like Danjuma, Piroe, Harrison etc, will help deliver that.  In fact, I suspect whoever we bring in will be underwhelming – because they’ll look shit compared to the likes of Rice, Szobozlai, Maddison, Mac Allister etc. Whilst it’s obviously disappointing not to be competing for players like this, we’re not in that league just yet. 

The point is to become better; not somehow brilliant overnight.  Getting better will involve the recruitment of players like Moyes previously recruited; Carsley, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Neville etc. Not unlike the modestly priced successes of last summer; being Garner, McNeil and Tarkowski.

Longer term, it will involve developing the talent of players like Tom Cannon, Stan Mills, Lewis Dobbin, Lewis Warrington, Jenson Metcalfe and Ishé Samuels-Smith to see if we can turn one or two of them into Premier League players (which is a huge leap from U21 football, as the likes of Steven Schumacher, Joel Baxter, Michael Branch, Danny Cadamarteri, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Ryan Ledson, Liam Walsh, Antony Evans, Conor McAleny, Nick Chadwick, Phil Jevons, Joe Williams and many, many others will testify).  These guys need games to improve; which almost certainly means games on loan at Championship level.

So we don’t need an awful lot for our initial building blocks.  But these initial building blocks are absolutely vital in our journey to becoming a big club again. There are no shortcuts; we cannot simply wait our turn for a sugar daddy who will probably never arrive.

On this, we can take heart from successful clubs like Napoli and Seville this season that the right sort of building can deliver success over time (and not even that much time) without huge sums of money.  Although that’s going to try the patience of many, in actual fact, if we can go big in the cups and score more goals, I think it could be an enjoyable season watching a side becoming good, if not great, again.  From there, we will have the right sort of foundations in place for becoming a big club again.

Reader Comments (94)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 02/07/2023 at 15:22:26
Mention of Ryan Ledson…

Massive 'long-read' feature on him at the Everton website has just popped up:

Ledson: I achieved my Everton dream

"Research conducted by the Football Association has concluded that fewer than 0.5 per cent of players signed by professional teams aged 9 and under go all the way to play first-team football at those clubs."

And by that measure, Ryan Ledson is a homegrown success? Don't think so myself but he has had what they call "an already fascinating football journey which all started as a young boy with Everton Academy."

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 02/07/2023 at 16:38:52
Not much to argue about with that post except to say bringing up the Academy players needs a very good and experienced coach to bring new ideas to liven up the Academy which has stood still for quite some years along with scouts similar to the one we had to displace a few years ago.

He certainly brought plenty of good young players into the Academy but was caught out in the way he got them into joining the club. No different to the way other scouts did the job, but they didn't get caught out.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 02/07/2023 at 16:59:14
Michael (1),

I'd say Ryan Ledson was a success, still only 25 and playing in the second tier of English football, played in 200 league games, I bet he still thinks he can get into a Premier League side.

I'd say, Liam Walsh, Joe Williams, Adam Forshaw, John Lundstram, and a few more including Tyias Browning, who scored for China the other week, have all reached very decent grades of football and made a good living out of the game as well, not to mention the much criticised Tom Davies.

John Zapa
4 Posted 02/07/2023 at 17:20:01
I'm a little concerned by the exodus of leaders from the dressing room. By many accounts, Mina, Coady and Begovic were all very good influences behind the scenes and proper leaders. They were the strong minds and mentalities that are needed.

Tarkowski and Coleman are probably the remaining 'leaders' at the club who lead by example. This leadership deficit will hurt unless addressed this summer.

Dale Self
5 Posted 02/07/2023 at 17:43:18
Robert, since I usually agree with most everything you offer, I will raise an objection to the 'big club' stuff. I don't want to distract though.

Building a squad with 3 to 5 years of experience together is the key quality that we've lost. This is also the dynamic that allows Sevilla and Napoli to regenerate into European threats. We have had some quality core players but instability and [insert expletive] has kept us from developing.

We are now close to having enough young players across positions that a couple of good windows will put pieces in place for a run. Not amazing windows, just productive to provide continuity when injuries or bad form occurs. With that, I agree that Dyche is a good fit for us and will likely provide a transition without drama, however it works out preserving our club momentum.

Alex Gray
6 Posted 02/07/2023 at 17:49:29
I believe everyone has similar expectations. Midtable security is the dream for this season. I firmly believe we'll be in another relegation battle simply because we won't sign the players we need.

Two strikers, a winger, a creative midfielder, a left-back and a centre-back are the minimum needed to make a normal squad balance on par with the promoted teams.

Put it this way: if we have two goalkeepers on the bench, it's a good sign we'll be near the bottom. On top of that, all these new players need to be here before the season starts. I'm putting my money on when we play Fulham, nobody has come in.

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:01:26
Dave #3,

And I'd add Dowell, Kenny, and most obviously Antonee Robinson to that list. Dowell just signed with Rangers, Kenny played a full season in the Bundesliga (altho Herta got relegated) and we all know about Jedi.

Thanks for the head's up on Browning, I missed that he scored his first ever for China. Interesting that he's going by Browning again instead of his adopted Chinese name Jiang Guangtai.

Mark Taylor
8 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:10:16
I'd concur with the goals the author has set, though at 1), I'd settle just for escaping relegation. Mid table is luxury (to paraphrase Monty Python).

This is partly because I have very low expectations for this transfer window. We will surely add a striker but anything else is likely to be loans or gambles on youth.

I expect a net negative spend, in other words, we will sell at least one and some of that money will go towards the stadium and associated financing costs. Anything that cuts the long term funding needs right now will pay off eventually.

Actually this goes beyond next season. As I've said elsewhere, if we can avoid relegation while negatively net spending (or close to that) for another two years, we face a much, much rosier situation, with increased cashflow from the new stadiumand plenty of P&S wiggle room. Who knows, some uber-rich Arab might find that too compelling to resist.

But Dyche needs to pull off a miracle 2 years running and, if he does, he can have a statue...

Joe McMahon
9 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:19:00
Mark, and don't forget a very negative goal difference, again.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:23:33
Robert, you ragged trousered pragmatist, it’s not too complicated is it? But it’s been beyond our hierarchy up until now to do these basics. Whilst the delusional Kenwright is in the club manning the transfer switchboard at Finch Farm, the fear of god is in me that nothing will change. We can only hope this window they are on it, because if they are not, this time the bullet in the barrel will stop at 12 o’clock.

Before Brighton we had the lowest goal total in all four leagues. Calvert-Lewin played that game and made a massive difference. It just shows the absolute necessity of getting a striker in with similar attributes who can challenge to be no1.

This one signing, if they get it right, will go a big way to ensuring safety and oiling the wheels of all the other bullet points. Other additions are necessary but are secondary as it stands.

This common sense, step by step approach is the only way. As you have said Robert, Dyche is perfect for what this club needs right now. He knows how to build hard to beat teams with a sting the tail.

His character and methods won’t change a lot and I’m expecting him to build a team that is harder to beat than his previous ones and one that has more of a lethal sting offensively. Everton are the biggest club he has managed, so I’m expecting him to scale it up.

Paul Tran
11 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:28:49
We have competence in the dugout. Now we need competence everywhere else. And to take the cups seriously for a change.

Competence isn't very fashionable in the UK right now. People seem to want soundbites, verbal diarrhoea, empty slogans and promises. Competence is what gets everyone sustained success.

A slow process of steady, consistent improvement is what's required, at least till the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is finished, to show the world (and its players) that we can be a sensible well-managed club that's worth joining.

I just hope we add a bit of cup excitement to the steady improvement.

Jay Harris
12 Posted 02/07/2023 at 18:28:51
There's so much uncertainty around the club right now, who knows what will happen in the near future?

All this uncertainty and lack of unity must anger the manager and the squad although Dyche has managed it quite well so far.

He knows better than anyone what the squad needs so just hope and pray we back him properly.

If we do, and we get the board shakeup we need, I am optimistic for a top-half finish but, if Kenwright and Moshiri continue to impose their will on the club, then we are certainly looking at running in the bottom half.

Gary Brown
13 Posted 02/07/2023 at 19:06:01
Two apparently amazingly contrasting posts at 5 (Dale) and 6 (Alex).

Dale suggests stability, with a core group of players kept together over 3-5 years. Alex appears to want to buy another half a team this summer.

For what it's worth, I'm 100% with Dale. We have a good core group. I think the constant 5 or 6 players every year simply kills squad morale and any real chance of chemistry. Forest and Leeds bought loads last year, both looked even poorer than us.

I think we need 2 or 3 new players max (plus those who come through, like Branthwaite and Cannon). A genuine like-for-like and day-to-day replacement for Calvert-Lewin, a natural Right wing version of McNeil and competition at left-back for Mykolenko.

Even that last one, I wouldn't panic about. Godfrey can do a job there, and I think if we want to keep Samuels-Smith (rumours of Man City in for him though) then we should be offering him “cups and cover” this season too.

Not sure I am as confident in Dyche as Dale or others tbh. I think he was the right person last season, but plenty of warning signs he's too stubborn and not adaptable too. My only “prayer” is the current snail's pace in transfers is because we are a) finding players with the right attributes and b) making sure they fit us in every way too.

The latter was Moyes's masterpiece. The “dithering” being that final check.

Gary Brown
14 Posted 02/07/2023 at 19:15:25
One other comment is the general atmosphere around the club. Yes, we've been through some shite, and whilst Kenwright and Moshiri remain on the football side, there's plenty to worry about still too.

But we've gotta start believing a bit. We've got a world class stadium less than 2 years away. We've got good young players in the first team and maybe coming through. We've got solid pros like Pickford, Coleman and Tarkowski.

Not saying we should turn into the dark sides “every player we sign is the next Messi and gonna win us the treble next year” but we should start believing this club is, and will always be, in the Top 6 or 7 clubs in this country. Sooner or later, we will get the football side right to match.

Alex Gray
15 Posted 02/07/2023 at 19:22:48

I suggest we need more than 2 or 3 players simply for the fact that we needed 2 or 3 last year plus the ones we've now let go.

In our squad, we have two wingers, three if you include Iwobi. Gray looks to be off. We have one striker fit for purpose who is never fit. We have one left-back in the squad. At centre-back we have lost Coady and Mina. I do suggest we need a large amount of players because in reality we do.

We have a good core in midfield, hence why I never suggested a midfielder. One core at the back is Tarkowski and an untested Branthwaite. Behind them are Keane, Holgate and Godfrey who have all been found out whenever they've played. Up top, if Dom is injured, we have Maupay and Simms.

We had two goalkeepers on the bench at the end of last season and since then have lost players. I don't understand why me suggesting we needed 6 players is a foreign concept. Not all 6 players will be starting 11 quality and a fair few would need to be loans simply to fill out the numbers.

Phil Friedman
16 Posted 02/07/2023 at 19:36:06
Gary @13 etc…

I wouldn't overlook the fact that it's difficult (almost impossible?) to recruit any halfway decent players because the club is always fighting relegation, is a glaring mess in the front office, etc.

Word gets around. Many may think being in the Championship is better than playing for a Premier League shambles like Everton. That's our reality.

Stu Darlington
17 Posted 02/07/2023 at 20:10:35
The big problem is we won't have much money to spend, and typical of Everton, they are keeping it close to their chest.

So we are looking at loan players, players out of contract, players from relegated teams or those not getting minutes at their present club, or promoted youth players.

Not very inspiring, but there are players out there that could do a job for us. The challenge for Dyche and Thellwell is to identify them and get them on board early.

Simple really!

Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 02/07/2023 at 20:20:40
Personally I don't think a "big club" is defined by mid-table dalliances in the cups so may I suggest another title for the piece?

"Relegation avoidance and the baby steps required"

But on the subject of actual big clubs, they are the result of rare individuals who provide immediate success and foundations upon which the club grows. Only 3 men in the history of football have done it: Chapman (Arsenal), Busby (Man Utd) and Shankly (Liverpool).

It's why the only real route is mega money. Men of this ilk (even if they still exist) aren't allowed time nowadays so we're stuffed.

Robert Tressell
19 Posted 02/07/2023 at 20:58:43
Barry, I also think there's much more to it - but we must at least start on that journey of becoming a big club again, otherwise it will always remain a very long term aim.

You also mention the likes of Shankly etc. Personally I think the real visionaries now are often the people behind the scenes, rather than the higher profile football managers (like Graham Potter for example) who get given a lot of credit because a club performs well on their watch. Football has moved on long way from just needing to find a decent manager.

Gary Brown
20 Posted 02/07/2023 at 21:34:02

- Coady only useful in a 3 at the back we can’t and won’t (under Dyche) ever play.

-Branthwaite a hopefully capable replacement for the perennial injured Mina,

- Keane, Godfrey and Welsh capable of providing cover to Tarks / Branthwaite. At least for a year anyway.

- Gray still at the club, so not sure why you’re discounting him. He’s exactly the kind of player the POINT is about…..keep him, and don’t replace with shite like Harrison and Gnoto. I’d say same about Iwobi if wages reasonable.

- left back we have Godfrey as cover, albeit I’ve acknowledged need to improve here as I have at striker and right wing.

If we (hypothetically) had say £60m budget, personally I’d rather we buy 3 x £20m players who are going straight in than 6 x £10m who will just add dead wood. If we had a hundred million+, maybe your “replace them all” approach would make sense. We haven’t though, so need to improve smart.

Barry Rathbone
21 Posted 02/07/2023 at 21:42:24
Robert 19

I sort of agree but Mourinho at Porto, and Simeone at Athletico demonstrate it's still possible but still massively rare.

If you're citing Potter I have to disagree. A more uninspiring individual it would be hard to find. No surprise that once taken out of the easily pleased Brighton camp he died a very public death.

Don Alexander
22 Posted 02/07/2023 at 22:08:51
Can anyone name any club, big or otherwise, who spent the season just avoiding relegation whilst being so deficient in Premier League players that they continually had to put two 'keepers on the bench?

If anyone can, can they then name any club, big or otherwise, who spent the season just avoiding relegation who then got rid of numerous players who had been deemed good enough to play in that last appalling season, whilst signing nobody at all?

Further, can anyone name any club, big or otherwise, who spent the past thirty seasons in a very visible ever increasing downward spiral who still employ the bloke whose actions have increased the speed of that spiral throughout, in a bid to avoid relegation next season no less?

Thought not - as does the rest of the talented-footballer world.

Alex Gray
23 Posted 02/07/2023 at 22:10:11
I think we differ on a few points, Gary, but I see where you're coming from.

Regarding Gray, if the Saudis are interested, especially with the fees branded about, he'll be sold. Harrison each year has scored and assisted more than Gray and Gnonto scored the same amount as him last year despite being numerous years younger. Neither are world beaters but they're upgrades. It's worth noting that Leeds didn't particularly have many issues going forward but were awful at the back.

I'm not saying the players who left were great but we had a bare-bones squad last year. I'm looking at the other squads that we're competing with at the bottom, mate. If it wasn't for Brighton, we'd have had the lowest-scoring team in all of the English Divisions.

Signing 2 or 3 players is a good theory with your budget. I'm saying then use the loan market to get 2 or 3 other names who could bulk up the squad. There are players available for loan who I wouldn't consider deadwood. Brighton sign players under £10 million all the time and improve each year. It just involves good scouting.

But 2 or 3 signings alone with our injury record spells trouble to me. At points last season, we played with no striker in the squad, Michael Keane at right-back, Holgate or Godfrey at left-back and, whilst players can cover, it totally disrupts the balance of the team and the way we play.

Jason Li
24 Posted 02/07/2023 at 22:28:42
4 minimum I'm going with. Plus others as additional squad players or developing into first team players with what's left of budget/needs.

2nd half of season a goal was coming from McNeil or Doucoure, in the main.

So, need another left back to make sure McNeil stays forward.

A good back-up to Pickford. Can't have only one decent keeper.

Another excellent striker

A challenger to Iwobi who can score goals/fill in if Gray leaves

Mike Price
25 Posted 02/07/2023 at 22:47:54
If only we could unload Dele, Gomes and Gbamin and then sell Pickford, Mykolenko, Maupay and Onana!
Deadwood unloaded and over rated players sold to enable a rebuild.
Sort it Thelwell, you utter waste of space.
Dupont Koo
26 Posted 03/07/2023 at 02:59:54
Thoughtful piece, Robert.

I agreed with your 5 objectives for the upcoming season.

In terms of player acquisitions, the main difference between the Moyes era & the post-Moyes era was that, during the Moyes era, the likes of Carsley, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Neville & Fellaini were all nicely-priced and quality croutons good enough to be thrown into a bowl of Lobster Bisque (aka play for clubs in the Champions League).

Post-Moyes, most of them were really breadcrumbs that nobody would bother to eat or throw into any dishes, let alone stupid enough to buy them at money-laundering prices (Moshiri & Liar Bill did!) through a chef with false pretences (Kia Joorabchian).

For the youngsters coming through Finch Farm, the names you mentioned from the past were mostly being thrown into the wolf pack before they were ready or being hyped up too early and too much (the shadows of Bobby Brown Shoes & Rhino loomed large).

Fortunately, with the infrastructure and framework that have been set up by Thelwell so far, I am a lot more confident with the likes of Cannon, Mills, the 2 Lewises, Metcalfe and Samuels-Smith that they will be looked after more properly.

Even if all of them don't pan out to be first-team worthy, I have enough trust in Thelwell that they will be sold on for proper market prices or premiums (after several loan spells with clubs in the Championship, Up North or on the Continent to build up good enough sales values) that can help replenish the club's coffers.

With the current de-facto transfer embargo (likely to last until the MSP deal has been confirmed), it would be difficult to bring in new players early enough for the pre-season. We have to brace for Moyes-style ultra-late signings between mid-to-late August.

If we can finish the season somewhere between 10th to 15th without getting close into the relegation battle, I'll be very happy.

Darryl Ritchie
27 Posted 03/07/2023 at 03:59:31
Next season, 40 points and safety. We will need that to build any possible future.
Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 03/07/2023 at 06:16:18
A well-written article Robert, as all of your posts always are.

On the debate, let's distinguish between a big club versus recent performance and serial mismanagement.

When Manchester United got relegated in 1974, it didn't mean they were not a big club.

Aston Villa, Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester City, Leeds. All relegated in my lifetime, two of them sinking to the depths of 3rd tier football. Still big clubs.

Make no bones about it, Everton is a massive club. There was a reason the media hawks were circling at the prospect of us going down. Because we are a big club.

As I keep saying, wait until we win something. Those blue-smoked days and evenings urging the team on to fight relegation will pale into insignificance and the Kopites will have to go into hibernation. It will be relentless.

Our following, despite being starved of success or competitiveness, is second to none. And I mean no-one.

In terms of on the pitch, I am under no illusion we will need a stepping-stone approach to get back to where we want to be. A bit like what Man City and Chelsea done. It was gradual and didn't happen overnight.

I'd like to see some of the young players step up, Warrington and Mills in particular. Not as regular starters, but involved. Not to forget Branthwaite and McNeil. With the young full-backs and with the likes of Tarkowski and Gueye, there is a basis to build on.

On the academy, the output usually takes several years to be realised. I think what we are mainly seeing now is the output of what has been an underperforming system. Maybe that will change, but we won't see it for several years.

And to Michael's point, the percentage and chance of success of a player making it at the club they started with as an academy player are very slim.

And achieving success with an academy developed team is even slimmer. I think only Manchester United have done it on two occasions.

I would completely overhaul the academy system. It is broken in my opinion.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:04:29
History might show that certain clubs have always been bigger than others, and when you look at the history of the English game, then Everton have played more top-flight football than any other team. Our longevity is very impressive, but anyone who has got time should definitely try and read Tony Everan's link, on the John Mc senior thread (I think).

Everton have always been a big historical football club, but until we get our house in order, and have a total reset, we will just continue to make up the numbers. This is an absolute tragedy when you see the great desire and passion in the stands that hasn't been matched by the club's hierarchy for a very, very long time. (The obvious contradiction is the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock – which is something we can all hopefully begin to embrace.)

Football has moved on but Everton have stood still and, although Moshiri tried, he has proved himself to be an absolute fool for leaving a man who has been living in the past for donkey's years with a very prominent role within our football club.

Andrew Ellams
30 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:14:26
Mike @ 25,

On what planet are Pickford, Onana and Mykolenko deadwood? They're 3 regular first-team starters.

James Hughes
31 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:16:34
Whilst the Scarlet Pimpernel is still in the boardroom, we will not achieve anything of note. Well anything worthy of note, as avoiding relegation when the odds are against you is something of note.

When we do leave Goodison Park for Bramley-Moore Dock, there probably won't be a sell-off of memorabilia as he has probably sold it all already and leased it back.

Fingers crossed that the MSP takeover happens sooner rather than later…

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:26:35
That is a very good point, Tony.

I would go a step further.

Despite the supporters' belief and knowing how big a club we are, the leadership (or lack of) has not just stood still. They have walked backwards. Shameful.

Shameful for what this club can and should be. It will be once we get rid of the person who has been influential on the board since 1989.

We are a massive club with massive potential. No smiling Pantomime villain or theatrical Evertonian impersonator will ever tell me otherwise.

Despite attempts to grind us down, lower expectation, criticise us verbally and then chastise the very fabric that makes this club what it is. He has conned a generation into lacking belief and being satisfied with their lot.

You're not taking my Everton away from me. No one ever will. Cradle to grave.

Just go. If you don't like your heated seat and half-time meal, come and sit next to me. Give up your corporate meal. Come and join me in not getting served at half time or spend countless hours travelling the country to watch what we love.

Fuck him. Fraudster. Sorry to get emotional. Is it nearly August?

Christine Foster
33 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:40:28
Robert, what you outline is perfect common sense, a good structure for growth. So, it's never going to happen with Laurel and Hardy at the top.

As an example, I thought that the club was hanging in there until the new financial year began before a number of signings are made, fully expected a few replacements to be announced as soon as the financial window for the "new year" opened. Instead, nothing. And that to me signals no money, no intent, no change.

Of course, with each day passing I "hope" that changes, open up ToffeeWeb expecting to see a new banner announcement of a signing... instead its (still) a picture of Seamus signing a 1-year extension, now I love Seamus, but is that the best we can hope for??

Are we to see our "loans" being "re-intergrated" back into the team? Gomes and Alli replacing Onana and Davies?

No-one seems remotely interested in joining us. All we read about are want-away players. If true, then get rid. We cannot afford to have uncommitted players, Branthwaite, Gbamin, Onana…

They call it "silly season" but this isn't funny.

Paul Hewitt
34 Posted 03/07/2023 at 08:53:12
I always find this big club debate a bit childish.

Are we a big club? Not in the last 30-odd years we haven't been.

Yes historically we are… but we're miles and miles behind now.

Joe McMahon
35 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:18:51
Paul @34 agreed.

I'm 53 and Everton have not been a "Big Club" since the day I turned 20!

A special mention to William Kenwright who helped the club to be obsessed with the past and has done Zilch for the present.

Peter Moore
36 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:18:59
I agree with the article too. As money may be tight all summer, with investment/takeover in process. The most obvious deficiency is the goalscoring department isn't it.

Would Coventry (and the players involved) accept something like: Maupay and Simms swapped for Gyokeres?
Personally, something like that I feel could work very well for both clubs.

Surely Simms and Maupay want more game time and realistically need to drop down to Championship to get it. Gyökeres is making the step up, either with us or someone else. Really hope we can get him somehow, but not holding my breath.

Deals like this, if possible, reduce our wage bill and give us an asset that can go straight into the team. He has pace, strength, size, dribbling ability, tenacious and powerful worker, finishing prowess with both feet and head, good engine. Right age. His potential seems to be just starting to be blossoming with so many goals and assists for an otherwise average side, he nearly got them to the Premier League. Get him in, please. Dyche can get this guy flourishing for us.

Mike Price
37 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:21:03
Andrew #30,

I didn't say they were the deadwood, just the over-rated players we may be able to get money for in order to rebalance the squad.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:48:11
So were Man City, Villa, Newcastle and Chelsea. Despite their historical challenges, they didn't stop being big clubs.

Tottenham. To steal a phrase, "my arse". Haven't won the league since 1961 and don't look close to doing so soon.

Brighton and Brentford are currently well run clubs. But not big clubs. Never will be.

It's not childish.

We are a huge club. We have not been successful for over 30 years, but you only have to be there, week-in & week-out to realise how big a club we are.

Other clubs and the media know it.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:54:39
Robert (19),

I'd go along with your comment that the men in the background are just as, or more, important than the managers of the club.

Take Liverpool: Shankly had done a good job taking Liverpool out of the Second Division and winning the League Championship and also the FA Cup for the first time in the club's history. Peter Robinson became the club's secretary in the season that Liverpool won the FA Cup in 1965 and he proceeded to stay in that capacity for the next 35 years.

Shankly had done little of note as a manager before joining Liverpool and he was the first Liverpool manager to be given serious money to spend, which enabled them to get out of the Second Division. After his initial success, he then went 6 or 7 years before he won the League or FA Cup again, a period when Peter Robinson said the club received regular letters from supporters asking for Shankly to be replaced.

Peter Robinson then stayed as secretary during the time of Paisley, who many Liverpool fans will tell you was a better and more successful manager than Shankly, Joe Fagan, Dalgliesh and Houliah (sic) when the club continued to win many honours including the European Cup before he retired in 2000.

During that time, he oversaw many changes in the personnel and also major ground changes at Anfield, he also advocated that Everton and Liverpool build and share a ground at Aintree Racecourse which (maybe) unfortunately never came to pass.

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 03/07/2023 at 09:58:10
I think rather than debate about being a big club, the real debate should be how do you get back to being a successful club which is way more important.

Since football first started, usually the successful clubs have been the clubs with the biggest financial backing. Instead of wealthy businessmen like John Moores or Jack Walker owning successful clubs, then it moved from millionaire owners to billionaire owners, and now it's moved on from billionaire owners to nation states owning clubs.

So now it's wealthy Arab states who are investing in clubs with money no object, and as Man City have proved even when found guilty by both Uefa and the Premier League of breaking financial rules, they have enough wealth to drag this through the courts for years.

So getting back to how do we become successful with an owner who is just looking to not lose any more money on his investment, and MSP investing to buy 25% of the club isn't going to make the financial investment that is needed to transform the club.

So, with little money to spend for the foreseeable future, there is little or no prospect of Everton competing for honours anytime soon. But I would imagine, with a brilliant new stadium due in 2 years, then we have to hope that would interest another nation state to invest at the level needed to get Everton back to winning trophies.

Brian Williams
41 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:10:24
"We" used to have a go at the Geordies considering themselves a "big club" but we're now in a similar position to the one they were in before their sale, as in; very loyal, passionate fanbase, not won nowt for ages and merely making up the numbers.

So if, when they were in the position we're in now, they weren't a big club, how can we be?

Paul Hewitt
42 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:13:09
Danny, you see us as a huge football club… how?

No League title in nearly 40 years, no trophy since 1995, but you say other clubs that haven't won anything in years aren't big.

You're living in the past and that's the problem. This club has lived on its success years ago to still try and be on the big boys table. Sorry to tell you we aren't big boys anymore.

Ian Pilkington
43 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:15:15
Mike Price:

Sell “over-rated” Pickford?

Beyond belief.

Ray Jacques
44 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:24:18
I don't understand the big club debate, is it measured by fan base, success, budget, value, reputation or a combination of all of these factors?

On my travels with work, we are seen by outsiders as a struggling Premier League team who are annual strugglers against relegation and fodder for the top clubs.

Unfortunately we no longer register as a player in the global game.

Titles won 40 years ago have no relevance whatsoever to anyone outside our circle. The league titles of the eighties are as distant a memory as Dixie Dean was when we were winning them.

Sad but Mr Kenwright and his dismantling and downgrading expectations of our club's aspirations over the past 30 years has seen to that.

Raymond Fox
45 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:49:36
We have the potential to be one of the bigger clubs when we move into our new stadium.

The last time I looked, our sell-out home games were only 10th in the average attendance in the Premier League last season. West Ham for instance were getting 60-odd thousand, Newcastle 50-odd.

As far as dislodging the top 6 or 7 top clubs any time soon is concerned, the way the rules of football are now and the inbuilt advantages the same clubs have, we are depressingly long odds to do it I'm afraid.

Paul Hewitt
46 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:57:30
Let's put this big club debate to bed.

Big clubs: Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool.

Money clubs: Man City and Chelsea.

Clubs that live in the past: Everton, Spurs, Aston Villa, West Ham.


Barry Hesketh
47 Posted 03/07/2023 at 10:57:38
If Everton isn't a big club, then I'd like to see what has to be done to become one. I tend to agree with Mr Dyche's observations that Everton is a big club but hasn't been acting as such and for me that's down to one person and one person only.

If the club doesn't begin acting like a big club and soon, then it will begin to lose its loyal fan-base and everything that goes with that.

What I don't understand is why some Blues refuse to say or write anything that is positive about the club they support. The club over the park is built on myths, mostly propagated by their own fans, where every young player is the best in the world at his age, every signing is a bargain, every team is legendary and every manager is the magician that all other clubs should envy…

Us? we think every young player is rubbish, every team is crap, and all our managers are useless.

Both sides are guilty of over-egging the pudding, but sooner or later this negative view that many Evertonians seem to have will destroy the club forever, which flies in the face of the massive support that rallied around Everton in the last two seasons. If the supporters can create that atmosphere and noise in real life, why on earth do we see it so rarely on forums such as this?

Reality is bad enough, but wallowing in the misery of it is far worse.

Kevin Edward
48 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:00:58
I'm not a fan of ‘big club' as a tag, but I do like the debate so I like the article and the optimistic outlook.

There were opportunities since ‘95 in quarterfinals and semifinals but we were always lacking on those big occasions and didn't really turn up for the full 90 minutes (club mentality?).

So, for me:

1) be competitive in the league and keep comfortably away from the Bottom 3;

2) When a favourable cup draw comes along, then take full advantage;

3) Make Goodison and the new stadium fortresses a horrible places for visitors (players on the pitch of course, not so much the fans as they are paying their hard-earned cash, but send them home with no points and a headache).

Then build on those to rattle the cages of the usual suspects until they depart for Europe.

But of course a proper functioning Board and good player recruitment are the first steps, so waiting for a miracle before the window closes.

Mark Ryan
49 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:01:48
Talk of Everton being a massive club is no longer right. Kenwright has put paid to that. This is not a Kenwright moan, I'm just being pragmatic and honest.

For 2 full seasons, we have been relegation fodder. Without investment in players between now and the new season we are in for a dogfight of a season.

Do we have what it takes to dig deep, do we have the characters? At this precise time, I'd sadly say No. It doesn't look as though players will be coming in and the coffers are empty.

Is the club looking likely to drop down a league? Yes it is.
P&S investigation to come. We have to hope it's not a points deduction. We still have the worst Chairman in the Football League. Dyche is good but he's not Harry Potter… Unless some players come, we simply don't have the tools to do the job.

Britain was once part of a huge Empire. Times change. Everton used to be football's motherlode. It no longer is. Unless we get serious investment and get shot of Kenwright, this will be 3rd time unlucky.

I'll support them week-in & week-out but it's the Kenwright effect, it's killing us, on and off the field.

Clive Rogers
50 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:19:22
Mark, 49, agree with what you say.

There is another factor that will prevent Everton being a big club for a long time: massive debts.

Usmanov has gone and Moshiri is obviously cutting back his investment. The club is going to be saddled with enormous debts imo that will take many years to pay off.

The club's debts are already big and will become massive. I believe Moshiri wants out at the first opportunity and will leave us to it.

Brian Williams
51 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:24:32

What I don't understand is why some Blues refuse to say or write anything that is positive about the club they support.

Barry, becuase it's extremely difficult to find anything positive to say, mate. I tend to try to say as little as possible when things are bad because, like you (I suspect), it just depresses me.

David King
52 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:30:23
Everton is still a (very) big club, just not a successful one. Until Kenwright goes, nothing will change unfortunately.
Clive Rogers
53 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:47:43
Brian, 51, I'm the same.

I used to be optimistic, but 30 years of Kenwright complemented by 7 years of Moshiri has changed that.

You can say we are pessimistic, but looking at the facts I think we are being realistic. I think most fans still do not realise the true depth of the financial mess the club is in.

Paul Hewitt
54 Posted 03/07/2023 at 11:51:18
Clive @53.

Once the stadium is done, I think we will have close to £1 billion of debt. The stadium will cost around £700 million. And we must owe Moshiri close to £300 million.

Clive Rogers
55 Posted 03/07/2023 at 12:12:04

I think we already owe Moshiri £700 million and I was reading the club has taken out a £200 million loan at 12% which means we are paying £67,000 a day interest.

The plan was to get in the Champions League and for Usmanov and Moshiri to pay for most of the ground and end up owning a Champions League club. That has all gone South now. There is massive debt on the way. Moshiri has hinted at it.

Tom Bowers
56 Posted 03/07/2023 at 12:15:16
No matter which way you slice it, it all comes down to players who can deliver the product.

Goals win games and get points as the top clubs show every season but Everton couldn't keep Lukaku and RIcharlison and somehow some bonehead thought Maupay could do the job???

The new stadium, Moshiri and Kenwright are subjects at the top of everyone's list but who does Everton's scouting?

The priorities were all wrong and this was the wrong time to go after a new stadium. You need a top team to go into it first as a top team will get you the revenue.

If things go bad again next season, then Everton will have the best stadium in the Championship the following season. The writing is on the wall.

Clive Rogers
57 Posted 03/07/2023 at 12:28:09
Tom, yes it is. It’s been reported that Moshiri has said that Everton can’t really afford the new stadium!!!! Very worrying.
David Bromwell
58 Posted 03/07/2023 at 12:28:23
In many respects, we are still a big club: history, past achievements and level of support etc. Sadly, as we all know, we haven't been managed like a big club since John Moores left.

As a small boy, I well remember being taken to Goodison for my very first ever football match. We were in the Second Division at the time, and Peter Farrell and Cyril Lello looked over-weight old men. But the stadium looked magnificent, and I well remember being proud that my team played their football in such a great stadium.

Sometime later, I went to Anfield, I can not remember just when, but I do remember being shocked by the state of their stadium. All that was about to change of course, and I do believe that started with Shankly. When he came, he became the Pied Piper and he and Peter Robinson were the catalyst for all the successes that followed.

For most of those years, Liverpool have been managed as the big business they are. In contrast, our Club has been managed on a part-time basis with ever-changing personnel.

Take for example our recent expansion into Community Initiatives, lead by the recently departed Chief Executive. Okay this might have given us some Brownie points but at what cost? Will the next Chief Executive have the same level of expertise and interest?

It's so obvious that, until we correct the management structure, and appoint some full-time people who have the background and right expertise to deal with the immediate priorities and set out some sort of pathway for the future, we will continue to fail.

Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 03/07/2023 at 12:40:28
David, exactly. Denise was appointed because Bill knew he could manage her. She might have tried her best and worked very hard but she would never have got such a job at any other Premier League club.
Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 03/07/2023 at 13:00:50
How is £21 million per annum actually sustainable?
Mick O'Malley
61 Posted 03/07/2023 at 13:06:36
Paul Hewitt @42 again I’m in agreement with you, personally I couldn’t give a toss if other clubs or fans see us as a big club, it’s meaningless, I’m also sick of living in the past, it’s nearly 40 years since we had any sustained success, I witnessed those days and they are way in the past and that we still hark back to it just shows how success starved we’ve been, I’ll never forget how great it was watching a team win trophy’s but let’s be honest we have just made the numbers up for the last 30+ years with the odd decent season to get us excited, we do have the support of a big team but the club and the way it has been allowed to drift season by season has seen us become just another PL Team, one who flirts with relegation and hardly ever has a decent cup run, but I still love Everton big club or not
Raymond Fox
62 Posted 03/07/2023 at 13:25:54
On a brighter note although theres plenty of uncertainty of who will actually be playing for us this season I think Dyche will have them fit, organised and ready for the challenge. I think he is just the man to get the maximum out of a team that has limitations.

I'm confident that we wont have to go through the last two seasons agony if he backed properly by the club and us fans.

Dave Lynch
63 Posted 03/07/2023 at 13:51:30
I'm 62 and winning a trophy will not happen in my lifetime, I've made my peace with that. We are morally and financially bankrupt... have been for years.

I stated on another thread that we will be scraping around for cast-offs and rejects on Deadline Day and I stand by that.
I have had all the optimism and fire sucked out of me by this board.

Every season lately has been Groundhog Day and I fear and expect another one this season.

Barry Hesketh
64 Posted 03/07/2023 at 14:14:14
Dave @63
Speaking about morally bankrupt, perhaps, 777 would make ideal partners for our club? Not really, but it shows how football is open to many charlatans because they wave the promise of investment, perhaps Bill and Mosh aren't so bad after all? It's a long read the link below.

The 777 football mystery

Barry Rathbone
65 Posted 03/07/2023 at 14:27:37
We're big in the way Man City were big during the decades in the wilderness when the contrast with their untouchable near neighbours was mind blowing. They got good numbers home and away as we do but that's about it.

I feel the odds on us replicating their fall through the divisions are higher than replicating their ability to get a sheikh.

Eric Myles
66 Posted 03/07/2023 at 14:43:31
Darryl #27, were you a former manager of our Club?
Jerome Shields
68 Posted 03/07/2023 at 14:58:44

I can find very little wrong with your suggestion, but you are basing it on good club management, which Everton do not have. It may be the case that those owning shares are more interested in enriching themselves using the club's assets to do so. They appear, given recent decisions, to be going to continue as before.

The only saving grace is the new stadium, which according to Paul the Esk Moshiri has said privately is too large for the current stature of Everton FC. But its size will at least mean the framework will be in place for new owners to fill the void left by years of inept club management.

Such new club management would have to overhaul the existing underperforming regime throughout all departments within the Everton structure to achieve Robert's objectives.

The best that can be hoped for at the moment is a new striker who can score 15 goals and Dyche managing well what he has.

Darryl Ritchie
69 Posted 03/07/2023 at 15:56:12
Eric, No.

I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever been asked that question. Why do you ask now… just curious?

Robert Tressell
70 Posted 03/07/2023 at 20:14:53
Barry # 21, fair point re Mourinho and Simeone. They probably did transform Porto (arguably Chelsea too) and Atletico respectively.

Not only did they inspire the self-belief to win, they had the tactical and coaching nous to back that up and really transform a club. I have to say though, I don't know what was going on with the player recruitment and development at both clubs around this time.

I seem to recall Atletico were already on the up, having developed the likes of Torres, Forlan and Aguero before (?) Simeone turned up - who then benefited from a crop of exceptional youth players like Koke, Niguez and a few others.

In British football in recent years you could say that maybe Rodgers, Martinez and Pochettino all came close(ish) but failed through their (in some cases very serious) flaws and lack of mega bucks. Going back a bit, Ferguson and Wenger obviously transformed clubs too – and Keegan came close. It is really difficult now though – and I'm glad you share my scepticism for Potter. Many on here think he's the bee's knees.

Dave # 39, I didn't know about the bloke at the RS you describe. I'd assumed this was a more modern phenomenon because, blinkered as I am, I barely know anything about pre-Premier League football because of my age.

Going back to the original point though, just 2 or 3 signings who are a good fit for our needs can make a very big difference – especially under Dyche, who already has made a very big difference. I think we'll get those signings too.

Bill Gall
71 Posted 03/07/2023 at 21:00:28
The difficulty that we have as one of the lower Premier League clubs will be the ability to hold on to our promising players. We can't promise top wages to entice the top quality players in the £40M and upwards.

The top clubs through Sky Sports help will be doing everything to take our promising players away, and as players now hold all the cards, it is going to take more than money to keep them.

I have been saying for the last 6 to 8 months that Farhad Moshiri was the problem at Everton FC and the changes so far are just patching over the problems. We have some good players in the club and it is nice to read players want to stay, but money talks and there are a number of clubs in the league who have an awful lot of it, and seem to be able to spend without any sanctions.

I hope it is not, but I am looking forward to this season with a lot of trepidation.

Pete Clarke
72 Posted 03/07/2023 at 22:15:46
We had the chance to become a big club again when Moshiri took over with the promise of money to spend. Here we are, 7 years later, with all of that money spent and deeper in debt than we've ever been.

The reasons we have fallen so far down the list of big clubs is clear and yet prevailing. Moshiri and Kenwright know absolutely nothing about football or how to run the club. This is obvious to us all and yet they are still here.

Moshiri was always in it for money and it's no longer the club he sees as a way of getting that money back. The new stadium is his goal now and we may never own this stadium because of the situation Moshiri finds himself in. Dangerously, he is still calling the shots.

Bill Kenwright is stuck in fairytale land of thinking the club needs him and Moshiri in all of his wisdom thinks so too. Two of the worst decision-makers in the history of our club are not only hindering progress but are speeding up the process of decline.

MSP may offer slim hope of moving us forward but, if we don't hear news of Kenwright leaving before the start of the season, then it's fair to say we have lost the club to these clowns and we will soon be playing other former big clubs like West Brom, Sheffield Utd, Stoke City, Leeds Utd, Huddersfield Town, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland.

We are not a sleeping giant. We are a former giant sleepwalking.

Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 04/07/2023 at 00:52:34
Yes, Paul Hewitt, we are a huge football club, with massive potential.

I would differentiate between size of club and fanbase versus lack of success and competitiveness.

Elements of our fanbase have been beaten into submission of low expectation. Not me.

Once the chain around our neck is released and when this big club starts to compete again, we will see that.

Agree with the many sentiments. It is about the future. We can and should be proud of our ever distant past, but not live in it.

Good debate all around.

Pete Clarke
74 Posted 04/07/2023 at 02:21:57
Mistake in my post: Should be Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds Utd.


I admire your positivity and for sure would not back down in an argument with a fan of any other club as to our standing in the game but it's getting harder to argue the point that we are a big club.

Strangely, even with their success over the past 20 years, I don't see Chelsea as a big club. Just a posh club who got lucky. Man City were always a big club in my eyes and their support was terrific as were some of their past teams.

At this moment in our history, us supporters are just like the brave Black Knight without a leg to stand but throwing lots of insults and Moshiri is King Arthur.

Danny O’Neill
75 Posted 04/07/2023 at 03:07:16
Chelsea are pretenders, Pete. I live amongst many of them. They don't know how to behave like a big club. It's all fake and manufactured and dare I say, lacks class and isn't genuine.

Interestingly, living in London, I continuously have to talk to "lifelong" Liverpool and Manchester United supporters with no connection. As well as the supporters of the London clubs, there are a lot of London reds for both Liverpool and Man Utd. But the Man City thing hasn't really gained traction.

Jerome Shields
76 Posted 04/07/2023 at 06:56:53
Robert #20,

It was not just the players. but the existing training and staff that existed before they arrive, that bought into those managers when they arrived. Dyche was able to do this to an extent, but was inhibited by the existing regime and staff that existed at Everton.

A older example is Nottingham Forest. Nottingham Forest, prior to Clough's and Taylor's arrival had been relegated, but looked a good footballing side throughout this period. Clough and Taylor got them more organised, attacking and defending as a unit, and brought up the standard of play of individual players.

I remember how grateful John Robertson was for the transformation of his football career under Clough and Taylor. Prior to their arrival, he played infrequently and was transfer listed. He provided an assist in one European Cup Final and scored in the other.

Bob Parrington
77 Posted 04/07/2023 at 09:11:34
IMHO to be successful, a team needs at least one "linkman". He doesn't have to be already a 'shining star' but has to fit in to the 'psyche' of the team he is joining. A player that just draws the pieces of the jigsaw together.

Picking him is the job of Sean Dyche, not Thelwell. We haven't found that player for years. I was hoping it would be André Gomes but it didn't work out. I believe this selection plus a good striker would make a big difference to the team and its results.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 04/07/2023 at 09:48:01
Bob #77,

I often think what is overlooked is how quickly Premier League teams adapt to opposition tactics and a favourable performance from a player. It has got to the stage that tactics and players have to be changed during games. So the introduction of players in positions is quickly nullified.

Silva once said he wanted to increase the range of scoring opportunities. The days of the hero centre-forward are gone, he is now more dependent on teammates. Providing space and opportunities are now a big part of his game. It is the same for other postions as well. It's the conversion of the opportunities that count.

Laurie Hartley
79 Posted 04/07/2023 at 11:38:32
Bob #77 - Ward-Prowse??
Bob Parrington
80 Posted 04/07/2023 at 12:17:59
Laurie - You might well be right. But can we afford him?
Raymond Fox
81 Posted 04/07/2023 at 12:31:15
As usual, Bill @71, you talk a lot of sense.

Keeping hold of our star players is one of our Achilles Heels, but that's a problem all the 'smaller' clubs have. Brighton are going to lose 2 or 3 of their best players as an example and you can throw in losing a manager as well.

I beg to differ about our season's prospects though, I think Dyche will find a way to keep us safe. I might be taking a leaf out of Danny's optimistic book here because we haven't a clue who will be playing for us this season, I just feel he will be able to scrape together a team that will be good enough.

Christy Ring
82 Posted 04/07/2023 at 12:41:11
Robert, a very good article.

A big club used to be based on your history, titles, support, which had us up near the top. But money talks now, with Man City and Chelsea up there, and with the financial restraints, you can't spend like the so-called big clubs now.

I thought under Moshiri we'd be back at the top, but his biggest mistake was bringing in Koeman, who thought he won the lottery, and we've paid the price ever since.

As you say, hopefully he'll let Dyche do his job with no interference, and bring us stability and a chance to move forward.

Should Clough not have been mentioned ahead of Shankly especially with his achievements at Forest and Derby?

Barry Hesketh
83 Posted 04/07/2023 at 12:47:25
Christy @82,

I've got about a hundred and one names in front of Bill Shankly; mind you, I do dislike the other lot with a passion.

Surely Kendall in his time at Goodison wasn't a cheque-book manager per se, but somehow he's never managed to oust any of the other lot's managers in the Merseyside hall of fame.

If you don't wear red, you're to the fans dead.

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 04/07/2023 at 13:09:50
Bob (77),

We had Gareth Barry as a very good linkman but unfortunately we got him too late. Delph was another but couldn't stay fit enough.

Maybe James Garner could provide the answer? Early days but he looks like he's got a football brain and has a calm way about him which makes me think he has a lot of football sense and can alter the pace of the game.

As I say, early days.

Christy Ring
85 Posted 04/07/2023 at 13:41:29
Barry @83,

Imagine if Heysel never happened, which the Redshite have totally forgotten, Kendall would have played 4-4-2 with Sharp and Lineker upfront for the 1985-86 European Cup. If only??

Paul Burns
86 Posted 04/07/2023 at 14:05:54
Being a "big" club is nothing more than a state of mind.
Ambition and the refusal to accept mediocrity and poor performance from every member of staff at every level and every aspect of the club's operations.

These went out of the window at Everton decades ago to the point of the club's very motto being a sick joke. The disease was exploited by our pathetic owners to big-up anything resembling success in their addled brains as they lowered expectations to merely existing and the lack of expectations unfortunately spread to too many fans.

There are clubs around Europe who operate on a fraction of the money Everton have wasted and achieve far more on the field simply because these clubs have maintained standards and expectations. They wouldn't tolerate the kind of bog-standard performances from scouts, coaches, managers, players, administrators and finance people that have been allowed to drag Everton's name through the mud and be ridiculed regularly by the media and pundits with no response from our comatose board.

It's a wonder Everton still exist given the crimes committed against it by those who are supposed to be looking after the club's legacy.

Shame on them forever and for anyone who allows it to happen by accepting this nonsense.

Brent Stephens
87 Posted 04/07/2023 at 15:03:22
Today, I bought my ticket for the Bolton friendly.

I see they call it the Toughsheet Stadium!

Steve Brown
88 Posted 04/07/2023 at 15:42:44
Christy, I attended the 1986 European Cup Final as I was studying in Seville.

Barcelona v Steaua Bucharest - crap game with crap teams. 0-0 after extra time, with Barcelona missing every penalty in the shoot-out.

Everton would have battered both teams.

Bill Watson
89 Posted 04/07/2023 at 16:26:19
I'm not sure what becoming a 'big' club again actually means.
How are 'Spurs considered a 'big' club when the last time they were English Champions was 1960-61?
Michael Connelly
90 Posted 04/07/2023 at 18:15:06
Bill (71),

Not sure who those 'promising' players are, apart from Garner maybe. Not sure I'd be describing any of the rest as promising. Similarly, Raymond (81), I would say that we have one 'star' player, and that is Pickford.

And that pretty much is the reason why Dyche has to produce a solution much greater than the sum of the individual parts, even with 3 or 4 new signings (which won't or can't be top drawer). But at least he's proven he is capable of it.

Lev Vellene
91 Posted 04/07/2023 at 18:43:10
If nothing else can prove it, the fact that my online contact with EFC today to mention that the link they sent me to renew my membership was rejected in both Firefox and Chrome because I was probably a robot due to the quick speed (?, my max download speed is around 700 kBs up here above the Arctic Circle...), was answered by an automatically generated message saying that they would reply to my query within 21 working days! Wow!

So the Club has no one actually working with this sort of thing on a daily basis, and have to rely on the proper smoke or mirror signals being sent in favorable weather to London or Monaco, and then for the same to be returned before they can actually answer any query???

Bill Gall
92 Posted 04/07/2023 at 18:57:13
Raymond @ 81,

I guess being optimistic is a step above trepidation. Looking at the squad that should be maintained, and with Sean Dyche's attitude to hard work and a couple of decent signings, we should be able to maintain a decent mid-table position.

The biggest problem with me is when injuries occur and we have to shift players out of position to cover them. Most of our problems last season were caused by poor coverage with players being used out of position to compensate for injuries. Good teams have balanced squads, and that is the major problem at Everton FC.

There has to be more emphasis on the Under-21 team and youth players who can fit into the position they play to cover injuries; it is difficult to say they are not ready if they are not tried. We are financially strapped but youth blessed.

As far as a Big Club goes, it is on your first ever game, not on your present position, and there are very few that have a bigger reputation from when they started to the present day than Everton FC.

Danny O’Neill
93 Posted 05/07/2023 at 09:09:45
Steve @88, you only had to ignite the Steaua Bucharest flame.

Lucifer's Children and their taunting banner when we could have been celebration our second European Trophy.

Derek Thomas
94 Posted 05/07/2023 at 10:00:58
Then stop being a 'small club' run by small people (love the small faces mind) with small minds,

attitudes, expectations and - thus - Results.

Dare to Dream BIG.

Derek Thomas
95 Posted 05/07/2023 at 10:07:04
Bill @ 89; because, back then, the southern press and the BBC said so, which counted for a lot back then...and still does now I fear.

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