By Owen Parkes
Everton Football Club recently announced a public consultation over the proposed move to Bramley Moore Dock.
The announcement has triggered a flurry of excitement surrounding the club’s future, especially after the mundane years in the wilderness, content with being the ‘best of the rest’ under Bill Kenwright and David Moyes. In their defence with the resources they had, Moyes, Woods and Bill did a fantastic job in steadying the club’s place in the top seven and eight of the Premier League with the odd movement of excitement of optimism. Moyes went. Martinez came, and also in praise of Roberto Martinez, he attempted to take the club to a different level Moyes did and in his first season, Martinez and Kenwright struck an iconic partnership. Martinez adding his continental flavour to a very British club created something special. Everton finished on their record points tally, with their youthful side tearing Premier League apart, but from then it all went wrong. A mix of Martinez’s stubborn tactics and Bill’s complacency in the transfer market, caused a slump in Everton’s fortune. Everton finished in the bottom half of the Premier League with less than fifty points twice in a row. Everton Football Club went stale. Change was about to come. *In walks Farhad Moshiri.*
Rewind two years ago and bold new owner walks in on a dampened, dating club and change strikes almost immediately. Within months of his arrival at the club, Farhad Moshiri sacks Roberto Martinez. The fans had enough. Moshiri had made his biggest call as Everton majority shareholder to that date. Previous to that, you would imagine Everton would have went for a very safe appointment, maybe calling up Mark Hughes or David Moyes. Moshiri was not having any of it. Farhad Moshiri opened the chequebook and approached Southampton for the services of manager Ronald Koeman, the Dutch, arch-pragmatist, who was supposed to bring good times to Everton. Signs of improvement from the Martinez-Kenwright era were ostensibly there. Moshiri bankrolled the signings of Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie, Idrissa Gueye and Enner Valencia. Optimism was tangible at this point. Everton began the 2016/17 Premier League season with great momentum. Early results against Spurs, West Brom and Sunderland, excited Evertonians, Moshiri and Koeman could do no wrong, all of this was based around the newly appointed Director of Football, Steve Walsh who subtly went about his business, behind the scenes. As the season progressed some Evertonians were not convinced by the Koeman project. Whilst he had tangibly improved Everton by increasing their placing in the Premier League, there was no style of play, it was more of a pump the ball long for Lukaku and hope for the best. Mirror that to Marco Silva and to an extent Sam Allardyce, and in Ronald Koeman you will see a negligent, dreary manager who in reality was much worse than could have been expected. The following season compounded these worries.
Everton’s form dipped. For much of the start of the season, Everton, who had spent almost one-hundred and fifty million pounds in the summer transfer window on the lies of Wayne Rooney and Jordan Pickford, were in the bottom three of the Premier League. Koeman was sacked. He never got the club, some Everton fans have labelled this period as Everton’s worst for many years, they were not wrong, the search for a new manager commenced. Moshiri set about hiring a new manager with two preoccupations, hiring someone with the view to ensure the club’s Premier League status or hiring someone to take the club to Bramley Moore. A mix of horrendous league form and Watford’s stubbornness in Everton’s pursuit of Marco Silva forced Everton and Moshiri’s hand.
Everton metaphorically ‘smashed the glass,’ in came the ex-England, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, West Ham, Newcastle, Blackburn and Bolton manager Sam Allardyce. His remit simple, keep Everton in the Premier League. As basic and reactionist as it sounds now, relegation was a genuine worry for the Everton board. Everton went on to finish 8thunder Big Sam with Moshiri splashing the cash the subsequent January. Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott arrived. But it was never enough. For Everton’s motto of NSNO are not a group of throw away words, it is a mission statement, a Football philosophy brought about by Football greats. For Sam Allardyce I might as well by talking outside his hard-Brexit inspired zone. Sam Allardyce was anti-Everton. Poor football coupled with erroneous boasting, dealt him his fate, the sack. As those have learned prior Sam Allardyce, once you get on the wrong side of the Everton faithful, there only one winner and the manager leaves.
Fast forward a few months and things are seemingly one the up again. Marco Silva is at the helm now and Marcel Brands is the club’s Director of Football. The club again have embarked on a another summer of upheaval with major key members of the board as well as Walsh and Allardyce have all gone. The only regulars who can rely on their place in the squad from last year are Jordan Pickford and Gylfi Sigurdsson and Silva, Moshiri and Brands, united by the Bramley-Moore vision, are set on bringing the good times back to Goodison.