Farhad Moshiri’s time so far at Everton has certainly been a mixed bag.
Upon his arrival at the club in February 2016, there was a massive wave of excitement and optimism, the likes of which had not been seen since the 2009 FA Cup Final at least. Expletive songs about how rich we now were reigned down from the stands and it seemed, in that snapshot of time, that the whole Everton fan base was pulling in the same direction.
Fast forward over two years and the Iranian billionaire, despite still having the backing of most Evertonians, certainly has his critics. Yes, the club is in a far stronger financial position than it was before he arrived. Yes, we do seem to be making bigger strides than ever towards getting a new stadium. But what Moshiri and the club deliver within the next few months will go a long way to determine whether he retains the majority support of Evertonians or begins to lose credibility.
Speaking in January 2017, Moshiri himself said: “It’s not enough to say you are a special club and a great club, we don’t want to be a museum.” Everton fans will almost unanimously agree that the club is no closer to making sure that doesn’t happen than it was when he first said it. In fact, it is much further away.
In the time since Moshiri made that statement, the manager he brought in to lead his new empire has been sacked. Moshiri described Koeman as the man who could help Everton ‘compete in the north west of England, the new Hollywood of football.’ Despite an optimistic first season, which saw Everton move back into the top seven of the Premier League, his star manager is gone. What Everton fans have been left with, after a brief spell with David Unsworth struggling to keep the ship from sinking, is Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce’s main goal when he came into the club was to make sure he kept it in the Premier League. Some have said that the appointment was one made out of panic but had Everton actually been relegated, all of Moshiri’s good work so far would have been thrown out of the window. And Allardyce has delivered his promise, Everton are safely tucked away in mid-table obscurity.
However, as is glaringly obvious from the club’s much talked about fan survey, the fans are now happy for Allardyce to pack his bags and leave. His comments in the press, apparent lack of ambition on the pitch and his decision to let Ademola Lookman go out on loan are just a few of a long list of complaints that are leaving Evertonians scratching their heads. Surely after this week’s events, as well as the chants against Allardyce in recent games, his position is untenable and he will leave at the end of the season.
Should this happen, Farhad Moshiri will have the biggest decision during his time at Everton on his hands. Appointing Ronald Koeman was a big decision at the time, it turned out to be a mistake. We can forgive that, his credentials were good before joining Everton and we’re all allowed one, aren’t we? The decision to appoint Allardyce in the first place can still be forgiven. It was done on the brink of a crisis and who knows what would have happened if different decisions were made. The jury is still out on appointing Steve Walsh as Director of Football and whether he has had any positive impact on the club’s dealings. Everton’s summer transfer signings, and the money spent on them, is still up for debate.
With Marcel Brands looking almost certain to be coming in to work alongside Steve Walsh, fans will be hoping the next transfer window brings far more success in terms of player recruitment.
The next managerial appointment Moshiri makes HAS to be the right one. Paulo Fonseca, Marco Silva and even Arsene Wenger have all been names mentioned. In reality, it doesn’t matter whether we appoint Diego Simeone or Speedo Mick. The next manager has to be the one that leads Everton into this bright new future that has been promised. Otherwise, the man who promised the footballing world to Everton will have only succeeded in taking them backwards.