How We Got to Carlo Ancelotti?
Everton, since David Moyes left the club have been very inconsistent. Whether it has been switching between different football philosophies, different players and different managers to the point now where the club has a world-renowned manager in charge.
As we are the only club to have a manager like Roberto Martinez as well as a manager like Sam Allardyce in that period, to track the highs and lows of the time has been mesmerizing. Given that the world is stuck in self-isolation and there is now time to reflect, here is my take on what has happened at Everton since May 2013.
The Roberto Martinez era: Verdict = Tactical ineptitude
So Roberto Martinez. For me, pound for pound, as a pitchside manager goes, is the worst
Everton manager since Moyes left. Granted that was not always the case, hence why he probably isn’t, but Roberto Martinez didn’t have a clue.
When he came to the club replacing David Moyes, I was pessimistic.
I liked the stability and the organisation Moyes created at Everton and I wasn’t big on
possession-based football so Martinez wasn’t for me. Though I won’t say who I did want ha.
But Martinez came and with a bit more in the final third we did well. It wasn’t based on
Barcelona initially, it was hard-working football, but with pace and power on the break and
created a lot of chances.
The 13/14 season was really good to be fair. Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy, LeightonBaines and Seamus Coleman all having career topping seasons as well to help Martinez. 72 points is still the best return from an Everton side in the Premier League era.
Everton 3-0 Arsenal is still the best performance I’ve seen Goodison Park. The balance to the team was perfect and the connection with the fans was still there.
But Roberto Martinez soon got found out.
By the 28th game in the 14/15 season Everton had a meagre 28 points. Sam Allardyce had
40 points at that stage. Marco Silva 37 points. Ronald Koeman had 50 points. Everton did
fare well in Europe getting to the last 16 and Martinez did turn it around getting 47 points in the end but for me, he was done as Everton manager as soon as he played down the
importance of set pieces.
But yet he began the next season as Everton manager. We started better, we were in and
around the top 8 by Christmas with Charlie Nicholas yeah him, making the ludicrous
prediction that we would finish 3rd. We didn’t. Despite two cup semi finals Roberto Martinez was sacked after 37 games accumulating 44 points in that time.
NO Everton manager has gotten away with more. Two 4-0 drubbings at Anfield added on for equal measure. It’s hard to positive about Martinez for me.
The Koeman years: Verdict = Costly failure.
First of all, Martinez HAD to go. He was appalling. It was worse than the end of Marco Silva and arguably Ronald Koeman himself.
Everton were caught in the middle of two opposing ideologies: Bill Kenwright’s old Everton and new owner, the hugely ambitious Farhad Moshiri.
Martinez went and it was all about who replaced him, Frank De Boer was linked, so was Unai Emery and Manuel Pellegrini but Moshiri chose Ronald Koeman, the overachieving Southampton Manager who had helped develop talent such as Virgil Van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic.
Koeman brought in a few additions relatively speaking in his first window, Idrissa Gueye, Yannick Bolaise, Ashley Williams, Enner Valencia and Marteen Stekelenburg whilst selling John Stones to City. Everton also brought Steve Walsh in as DOF after failing to land Marcel Brands and Monchi.
The Walsh-Koeman relationship became an issue as time moved on but the 2016-17 season was fine. Everton recorded the most home points they have ever done in a PL season (42 points) and whilst away form flattered to deceive, we did win at Crystal Palace, Leicester City, West Brom and Sunderland. We didn’t really get lose a lot either but drew games away at Middlesbrough, West Ham United, Stoke City and Manchester United- also picking up the luckiest point ever at the Etihad Stadium drawing 1-1 with Manchester City.
Lukaku helped, as did Ross Barkley, Gana and the January arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin. He was unreal for them six months with Koeman.
Everton under Ronald Koeman were very one dimensional however, very narrow and workmanlike so when the drilling and pragmatic football, came to a close, so did Ronald Koeman’s time at the club.
The second summer was huge. Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Cuco Martina and Nikola Vlasic brought Everton’s summer spend to £150 million, while selling Romelu Lukaku to Man United and Gareth Barry to West Brom.
Everton also had Europa League football. We negotiated our way through the qualifiers
against MFK Ruzomberok and Hadjuk Spilt but performances were poor. We also played on
the astro turf in the back end of Holland and random African sides in partnership with our
commitment to SportPesa and the whole thing looked a sorry mess. As mentioned there
were lots in the way of transfer business but it seemed the structure Ronald Koeman put in
place was built on sand without the goals of Romelu Lukaku.
The first two games of the season we did ok but the type of performance was only a sign of
things to come later that season as Everton laboured to beat Stoke and drew with
Manchester City despite having a man more for the majority of the game. The week then
finished with a defeat at Stamford Bridge, so on paper the start of the season was
acceptable but still it felt like we just looked like we had been running on empty and it was
After the international break, the pressure started to pile onto Ronald Koeman. Back to back 3-0 defeats at the hands of Spurs and Atalanta left a sour taste. From then on in, he could not recover. 4-0 to United, and despite beating Bournemouth 2-1, trust Eddie Howe to bail you out, a poor draw to ten-man Cypriot side Apollon Limassol and a defeat at home to Burnley left Ronald Koeman on the brink.
There was an International break and then a couple of games after the break it was over, Everton stole a point away at Brighton in the final moments of the game with a Rooney penalty and then received a heavy 2-5 defeat at the hands of Arsenal at Goodison Park. Koeman was gone.
Again, a whole host of names were linked, most notably Marco Silva, Paulo Fonseca, Sam Allardyce and Sean Dyche in the media but it was the ex-England, Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce who was appointed.
The Sam Allardyce era : A Good Job
Once Ronald Koeman was sacked, Everton could do nothing right it seemed. We couldn’t keep a clean sheet, goals were at a premium, we couldn’t pass the ball straight, our long balls weren’t really going anywhere, and so it was no surprise to see Sam Allardyce lead the way as the favourite for the Everton job.
People will have their own separate ideas of what the Allardyce era was mine is that he did
a good job in testing times for the football club. The style of play was inevitable with that squad of players but that also, it was either results or style. The fans chose style and ultimately Sam Allardyce was subject too much pressure from the off.
Sam Allardyce is not an Everton manager really. As much as he is a very capable manager, a very good manager, he was never going to fit into what the club wanted to do, but for right or for wrong but after the 4-1 drubbing from Southampton, Sam Allardyce HAD to get the job.
The 4-0 win against West Ham wasn’t his either, though West Ham were shocking. But
then results under Sam Allardyce apart from the odd beating away from home were very
good. We won as many away games in his time then Ronald Koeman managed in 18 months I think. At home we were good. Though there was a string of home games we won 2 or maybe 3-0 that no one can remember but Everton did a solid job.
The only real major regret I have from the Allardyce era was giving him 50 million to spend
on Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun in January as a temporary manager, that was another
example of horrendous management from Farhad Moshiri and Steve Walsh. There was little
effect on the team and added more unnecessary ‘rejects’ onto the team.
Allardyce would have been better suited to developing Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman in that time rather than buying soon to be flops. All in all, Sam Allardyce got a batch of decent results with wins against Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United, Swansea City, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Stoke City which meant we finished 8th on 49 points. It was fine.
There was also some terrible performances, people talk about Arsenal away or Spurs away but West Brom and Watford away were really bad too considering the winless runs they were on. At the end of the day, he was not the right fit long term despite
the job he may have gone on to do, he had zero credit in the bank with Evertonians and so
from then on it is difficult.
The Marco Silva era: Poor, but for not the want of trying
I spent about five minutes coming up with that sub heading to sum up the Marco Silva era at Everton. The whole situation was inexplicable but yet forgetful.
It didn’t have the howlers of the Ronald Koeman era, the tactical cluelessness of the Roberto Martinez era, nor the anger of the Sam Allardyce era but it had all of the apathy, disappointment and typical Everton moments to fill a decade.
It was a era for me that shouldn’t have happened. In my opinion he should never have been given the Everton job based on two failed spells at clubs in England. Managers cannot just get jobs on how they are seen.
Personally I am not that big on managers that have a consistent record of being incapable of
setting up a decent defensive unit. He came in and there was a good amount of goodwill
towards him mainly due to the hatred of Sam Allardyce and his first summer with Marcel Brands was positive and it was built so the identity-less Everton had an identity, that it
wasn’t knee-jerk anymore and had a plan.
Marco Silva started off against Wolves with what was a decent point with ten men in hindsight. And the majority of his first season was decent, Everton played well for a lot of it. However I feel with the squad we had we underperformed. Zouma and Gana are top six players probably,
Calvert-Lewin looks a lot better post-Silva as does Richarlison.
At the start of December we were in and around the top six and then Anfield happened. That was as good as we have ever played there in recent years. We had such a threat on the break and I think if we had got the first goal we would have won the game. They had a fixture pileup and ended up with Origi and Shaqiri in the front three. That was probably the biggest what if game in recent times.
Because the subsequent run may not have happened and Everton might have went
from a stale 8th placed finish to maybe on the coattails of the top six especially with the
record we had against the top six that season. But from December to February we couldn’t
get a run going. After Anfield, Newcastle dropped in the biggest anti-football performance in
recent years at Goodison, Watford bullied us, City were too strong, Spurs battered us also
and from then to the end of February which included the debacle at Millwall it should have
been clear he was not right for the job.
Yet he managed to turn it around in the immediate future with big wins, West Ham away is as good as I have seen Everton away from home, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United at home we found some good form too. Yet there was still signs that he could not ever be consistent, Fulham away was as poor as we played under Silva and Newcastle away he was tactically out-smarted in the second half.
We got to the summer though and due to the frantic changes that had happened we all
collectively just got behind Silva again. The summer was dominated by links to Zouma and
Zaha and maybe if either or both of them had joined then Silva would have fared differently.
However it was not to be as we have seen this season. He was tactically one dimensional
and nine defeats in fifteen games has seen him sacked and replaced with Carlo Ancelotti
who so far is doing a very good job at Everton.