If karma is true, the idea that bad actions in a previous life are being punished in this one, then clearly, in a past life, I was a complete c**t.
How else can you explain what could occur next May?
There is a possibility on the horizon that by the end of this season, Liverpool will be champions, the Tories under Johnson will be established in power with a comfortable majority, and Everton could be facing a future in the Championship.
If you’re a Socialist and an Evertonian, things have never been bleaker. If you’re a Red and a Tory, it’s like all your Christmases have come at once (and in this instance they are definitely ‘white’ Christmases).
In the past there’s always been hope amongst the darkness. When Thatcher was at her zenith, Everton were being amazing under Kendall. Then, when Everton were deciding to be utter shite in the 90s, along came New Labour to bring an end to eighteen long years of Tory inspired gloom.
Of course, there’s a chance that not all of the above will come to pass. Everton might turn things around, Liverpool could once again blow it, Johnson might fall short of his longed-for majority. But, there is so much loaded against the possibility of a happy May that it seems unlikely that none of it will happen.
Living in this country, you sort of expect the Tories to be in power. Having left the confines of my native Liverpool some years ago and settled amongst the true-blue of the south-east, you come to realise that great swathes of the country do not give a shit about their fellow man. When faced with the prospect of forgoing a tiny sliver of their income in return for families being able to afford food, they are always going to vote for the party that lets them hoard their gold.
Equally, the prospect of Liverpool winning the title has a depressing inevitability about it. Let’s be honest, we’ve done well as Blues to go for so long without them claiming the top prize. Stubbornly, Liverpool have hung around the elite since their 1980s heyday, endlessly mining the club’s heritage and past glories to tap into successive generations of armchair fans. Somehow, even without glory, they remain the glory-hunters club of choice. And it is that legion of armchair fans that have sustained them during the lean years, ensuring the club has always remained in the running. And when you hang around the top that long, inevitably at some point you’re going to get lucky.
And so, you’re left with Everton. F**king Everton.
At the time of writing Marco Silva remains in his job. How? I have no idea. Take away a few weeks of good form towards the end of last season, and Silva’s record is abysmal. As a manager he has never convinced, always looking like a man out of his depth.
Inevitably, you search for reasons why this has happened, why a man so ill-equipped has landed the role. And in that search, the reason becomes obvious: it’s what Everton do.
Silva’s unsuitability for the position of Everton manager is not an isolated example of poor decision making by the club’s hierarchy. There is a long and disappointing track record in this area at the club that stretches back decades.
Since the early 1970s, Everton have made fourteen permanent managerial appointments and the overwhelming majority have been poor. The litany of mistakes is damning. In the 1970s, the club passed on the like of Brian Clough and Bobby Robson and opted instead for such managerial luminaries as Billy Bingham and Gordon Lee.
In the 1980s, when the club was at the height of its powers and looking around for someone to replace Howard Kendall, a position in football that anyone would’ve wanted, it opted for Colin Harvey, Irrespective of his credentials as an Evertonian, this was still a man with zero managerial experience, a deficiency that would prove telling as he tried to rebuild in Kendall’s wake.
In the 1990s, we were served up the lamentable Mike Walker, a diminished Howard Kendall for a third spell and the master of dour football, Walter Smith. Walker in particular stands out. He remains, unequivocally, the worst manager in the club’s history, a perma-tanned charisma void with less tactical acumen than the black cat who sometimes wanders onto the Goodison turf.
Fast forward a few years, skipping past the relative stability of the Moyes-era, and we’ve had the shitshow of the club’s recent past. It’s a period that has Everton appoint the manager of relegated Wigan, the manager of relegated Hull, a man who nearly destroyed Valencia and most depressing of all, King Gravy.
Across fifty years, the club has made just a handful of good appointments, Kendall the first-time round, Royle in 94 and Moyes in 2002. And then, to add to that you can have the relatively mediocre appointment of Kendall in the early-1990s.
When you sit back and look at that, suddenly the reign of Marco Silva begins to make more sense. If Everton excel at anything, it’s in making sure that the man who sits in the dugout is probably the wrong choice.
It’s hard to imagine Silva remaining in that dugout for much longer. I doubt there is a Blue alive who can see the club getting anything out of the next two fixtures. It’s exceptionally likely that Everton will be hammered by both Leicester and Liverpool and quite possibly go into the Christmas run languishing in the bottom three.
And that means whoever comes in to replace the hapless Silva will face the twin problems of trying to build something for the long-term (at a club that seems riven by short-termism) while also fighting off the threat of relegation.
Who that will be, nobody really knows? On average, it would seem, Everton make one decent managerial choice each decade. So, fingers crossed this will be the one. But I wouldn’t put a lot of hope in that happening. The managers have been coming thick and fast of late and if anything, the decision making seems to be getting worse.
And so, the prospect of a wretched Spring looms, the Tories ascendant, the Shite victorious and Everton fighting the drop. I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve this, but it must’ve been pretty fking awful. .