Another defeat, and this one was as flat and grey as a politburo suit. Drab. Dreary. Depressing. A 1-0 loss to Watford, and this is genuinely as low as I’ve ever felt as an Evertonian.
My earliest memories were names rather than games. Hearing my dad say he loved Gary Lineker like a son, and looking at a picture of him and thinking “Brother?”…
Thinking Ian Ormondroyd was a weird name. Hearing Villa fans singing, “You’ll Never Beat Paul McGrath!” – and wondering if that was true, was he superhuman? Then I started to notice Goodison… The noise it made when riled up. Once, when we played Blackburn, I was so excited my teeth chattered all game…
I didn’t want to forget a thing. Watching Heitinga’s cracker from the Bullens with a volcanic cup of Bovril. Watching us eke out a bleak draw against Wimbledon midweek on the frozen concrete steppe of Selhurst Park. Viewing Rooney’s goal from the Park End and hearing Goodison’s Krakatoan eruption. Daniel Amokachi – overflowing with confidence, scoring a brace against Newcastle as I watched from the Main stand. Or the best of the lot… Taking my son to his first game – Naismith, Mirallas and Lukaku running roughshod over Arsenal, battering them 3-0 and me and my little blonde American boy watching from the Gwladys.
I have similar memories at my house, emotions always heightened, pleading to a variety of gods I didn’t believe in, touching wood, praying for Everton not to do an Everton and usually watching them play from behind the back of the sofa, or in extreme circumstances in a refuge at the bottom of the garden where goals were communicated through yelps from the kitchen…. All of these are memories of my connection to Everton. Now, I feel so much less for our Merseyside Millionaires but somehow it hurts so much more.
Now is the winter of our discontent but it all started last summer, when our Director of Football and Manager botched our summer squad surgery so badly that we’ve had to undergo several disastrous corrective operations since.
The cliche is that there’s no *I* in *TEAM* but it’s equally true for Everton that you don’t spell *SUCCESS* with a *$*… Us fans were just happy to have some money for once. Instead of making do with pressing our faces to the window and mournfully staring at the happy shoppers inside, this time we could take part in the madcap trolley dash that is summer transfer season. And as the summer ended we were more than happy to hold aloft our “We Won The Transfer Window” trophy.
It was only when the season started that everything came crashing down.
Our sky-scraping ambitions were met with barrel scraping reality. It turns out that Koeman and Walsh, the supposed masterminds who would bring home the transfer bacon, couldn’t agree at all. Like squabbling siblings, the only answer they could come up with was to buy the players Walsh wanted AND the players Koeman wanted, despite many playing in the same position.
It beggars belief that we could splurge on our “Three Tenners” – Sigurdsson, Klaassen, and Rooney – and forget about a left back.
Or perhaps we didn’t forget. Perhaps we assumed that a 33 year old Leighton Baines would be more than capable of playing in the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, and Cara-bloody-bao Cup without succumbing to injury…
Then again, it wasn’t just a left back that we missed out on in the summer. Somehow we managed to ship off Lukaku to Man Utd and not buy a striker.
In both cases, left back and striker, there was a player we really liked (Kolasinac and Giroud) – but after losing out we were paralyzed. Was it because we only had one target or because our other targets were so poor that we thought we’d be better off with nobody in those positions? Either way, the mismanagement has been disastrous.
I preferred us when we were skint. And I miss our blue collar players. The ones who actually give a sh*t.
We’re now a horrendous half baked layer cake. We obsessively add more ingredients, thinking that it will taste better. But the players don’t even know each other. And the fans feel nothing but bitter disappointment.
We are a horror movie, and not even a good one, I Know What You Did Last Summer’s incompetent footballing sequel.
I really don’t have a f*cking clue what I did last summer.
Sam Allardyce and his puritanical football is a tumor that needs to be removed from Everton. He’s brought in Walcott, he’s brought in Tosun. Coleman, Bolasie, and Baines are all returning from injury. The excuses are melting away, but the performances are still hopeless. We need hope back and we need players we can believe in, because right now I don’t even recognise this club.