Pre-season is well underway, and the newly appointed Everton boss has a lot to prove. Since his appointment on June 1st, the Portuguese’s first job has been to get the Everton faithful back onside with a club whose previous season was one to forget. The previous regime of a stubborn Dutchman and an ex-P.E teacher has left a bad taste in the mouth of Evertonians, and who can blame them?
200 million pounds was spent in a single season, largely on mediocre players such as Davy Klassen, Sandro Ramirez and Michael Keane, who seems to be a shadow of the player seen 6 months previous at Burnley. In a season which promised so much did so little happen for the new look Everton side, who conceded 19 goals in the first 9 games of the previous campaign.
Koeman’s dirty laundy
The sacking of Ronald Koeman allowed the dirty laundry to be aired by the staff inside Finch Farm, telling stories of promising young first team players made to eat lunch at separate tables from the first team members, and not being given the time of day to air concerns or for advice. His handling of Senegal international Oumar Niasse was a disgrace; not giving the player a locker in the first team dressing room, publicly slandering his ability and insulting him personally, point blank not giving him opportunities even though Koeman failed to replace a 25-goal-a-season striker in Romelu Lukaku.
Of course, Niasse was to have the last laugh, scoring the final goal of Koemans era at Everton with the fans siding with a striker who’s heart outweighs his footballing ability.
A firm fans favourite in David Unsworth was appointed as interim Everton boss, much to the approval of the Everton faithful, with many of them remembering Rhino throwing his body on the line in-front of the Gwlady’s Street while the chant “Rhino, Rhino” echoed around the Grand Old Lady.
Unfortunately, the optimism of the Everton fans in the appointment of Rhino didn’t last very long, with the results not getting any better. His final game saw a 4-0 drumming of West Ham, with the once dubbed “white Pele” getting his first ever Everton hat-trick, something many Everton fans had waited to see since his debut 12 years prior. The result dragged Everton out of the relegation places, only just.
The panic button
Everton pressed the panic button, which usually results in one of the managerial merry go round regulars being appoint and who better than ex England, West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton boss, Sam Allardyce. At first, Everton fans were open minded, and willing to give a manager with vast experience in the English game a chance. A comprehensive 2-0 win at Home in his first game in change over Huddersfield struck false hope into Everton fans, who by the end of Allardyce’s tenure would rather watch paint dry in a dark room than step foot inside Goodison Park.
Comments such as “If my 2 league games against Liverpool this season had been a Champions League tie, we’d have gone through. That’s something my critics won’t tell you” didn’t sit well with Evertonians who had became the laughing stock of the Premier League, with the ever-daunting chant “You’ve got Sam Allardyce, You’ve Got Sam Allardyce” a mantra repeated by every away team travelling to Goodison in the second half of the season. A song which put shivers down the spine of every Everton fan.
The shackles were eventually removed and Allardyce moved on, with a healthy compensation package handed out – although you wouldn’t have thought it, given that the media slammed Everton for the sacking. I’ve never witnessed Everton win anything in my lifetime, but the feeling I encountered when Allardyce was sacked is the closest I can imagine to if Everton won the Champions League.
A new era
Onto Marco Silva, a 41-year-old ex right back who spent most of his playing career in Portugal, with his best playing years spent at Estoril. This is where he later went on to manage for 3 years, winning promotion from the second division of Portuguese football in his first season and winning the personal accolade of manager of the season.
From there, Silva went on to manage Sporting and Olympiacos, winning the league in Greece and the domestic cup in Portugal. His appointment at Hull was a surprise for many, but anybody who knew anything about European football knew that Silva’s stock was high, and he showed his potential in his time at Hull. Although he couldn’t manage to keep them up, Silva injected life and belief into a team who many thought where already dead and buried.
A notable win in his time at Hull was the 2-0 win over Liverpool, with Everton player Oumar Niasse scoring to put the game beyond Liverpool’s reach.