If not right now, but for sure in the coming weeks, Everton are fast approaching if not already at a massive, massive crossroads in the clubs history.
Since 1878, we have been one of the greatest clubs in this country… nine times champions, five times FA Cup winners and a glorious, glorious European Cup Winners Cup champion club.
More seasons and games in the top flight of domestic football than any other and too many other ‘firsts’ to reminisce about, be proud of and want to emulate.
A little under three years ago we appointed a nice man who, allegedly, advised the chairman would get us into the Champions League and on the evidence of his first season, not many would have doubted him?
Sadly and a little under two years later and staring another woefully below acceptable finish in the face, the club is coming under ever increasing and likely to become ever more vocal/visual demands to dismiss Roberto Martinez and replace him with a manager whose cv is not dogged by lower half finishes, relegation battles and failure.
I believe that the overwhelming majority on the fan GOT forum poll who want such a change would very likely to be replicated where a poll taken at Goodison Park next Saturday.
Our club has never been an all-dominating animal in the manner of our neighbours in the 1970’s and 80’s or a Man United of the last ten or fifteen years, but we have had more moments in the spotlight than most. Of the so-called ‘big clubs’ only ManU, Liverpool and Arsenal have won more trophies. Aston Villa have won a fair few in their history, but they’ve also been up and down the divisions a couple times and this lessens any claims they might try to make to be a really ‘big club’ and the most played fixture won’t take place next season as they’re going down again. Chelsea and Man City have only really come to the forefront in recent years with the benefit of filthy rich benefactors.
So, with Everton having acquired a new major shareholder who has the financial wherewithal to ‘buy’ success, the big questions that needs to be asked AND answered are… when, not if, when will the decision be made to release Martinez from his and our misery, and who will the club go all out to secure as the man to really get the club scaling the heights again, chasing trophies and reaching the financial gravy train that is the Champions League?
Lots of names are already being bandied around… Bielsa, Koeman, De Boer and AVB to name just four, while a significant number of Evertonians would like to see a genuine, proven winner in the mould of Jose Mourinho or Joachim Loew approached.
With the current squad of players, widely regarded by most as arguably the best squad Everton have had since the mid 1980’s, surely major surgery is not required?
The biggest problems facing the squad and manager, whether Martinez stays or is replaced, are totally changing the defensive structure and tactics of the squad and addressing the mental fragility that most definitely blights the squad at present.
The wind of change that needs to blow through both Finch Farm during the week and through Goodison Park every two weeks needs to a full blown, force ten hurricane, such is the malaise that currently prevails and that simply has to be eradicated.
Everton are at a crossroads.
The club needs to determine the direction we’re going to take and make the decision decisively.
Be brave Mr.Moshiri, the fan base will support you if you’re brave, decisive and fully prepared to back your judgement with the finances necessary to accomplish what you as the major shareholder and us, the supporters yearn for… Everton back on an even keel, Everton moving forward, Everton winning more games than we lose, Everton playing with flair, panache and style, Everton challenging for trophies, Everton winning trophies and Everton assuming what we believe is our rightful place in the upper echelons of the game.
Crossroads generally have four directions, the one you’ve come from and three new ones to choose from. The direction we’re currently heading on is the wrong one. We look timid, frail, fragile, almost doomed at times.
Of the other three directions at the crossroads, I believe two could/would be middle of the road, slightly better directions under a Bielsa, Koeman, De Boer, AVB type… while the third and final option, under a Mourinho/Loew might be more dangeous but again, in my opinion, would offer the greater chance of success.
Mourinho is a headstrong, controversial maverick, but he’s a winner and he’s currently between positions and therefore available, and his dislike of those across the park is a superb added bonus.
Loew isn’t as demonstrative, but his record with the German national team surely warrants someone picking the phone up and asking him the question.
England might have won in Berlin recently, but rest assured that when the Euros begin in earnest, Germany under Loew will be an entirely different proposition. Loew is a master of tournament football, so why not offer him a chance to excel in the toughest tournament of them all, the English Premiership?
It’s over twenty years since Everton last lifted silverware and whilst there is still a chance of glory this season, it’s the long term future of Everton that is actually more important.
We are at the crossroads, we need to make choice and a wise choice of new direction.
Will we choose staying on the current path of abject mediocrity and despair, will we choose to take a better, but not rip-roaring change of direction or….
Will we be brave and ballsy, will we grasp the nettle, will we make a statement of intent, and hopefully strike fear and panic into our Premiership rivals, will we let the world of football know that Everton are on our way back for real, and this time, it’s for keeps?
Mr.Moshiri, your mission now you’ve chosen to accept is clear and your guiding principle must be the clubs motto… Nil satis nisi optimum.