It’s time for a trip down memory lane! In this article, I will be counting down what I perceive to have been the Top 10 most “Everton that” moments since I became an Evertonian at the beginning of the 2012/13 season. If you don’t know what an “Everton that” moment is, either A. You aren’t an Evertonian or B. You have just become an Evertonian and are unaware of the despair that awaits you. I was twelve when I became an Evertonian, meaning most of the moments I have picked are a bit more recent, and you will notice that many of them come from the 2015/ 2016, as that was the first season in which I watched every minute of EFC football and also because it was, in my opinion, the most “Everton that” season that I have ever witnessed. I apologise in advance for the PTSD I am about to trigger in all of you. Sit back and enjoy (if you can) as we relive the Top 10 “Everton that” moments since 2012.
10. Everton 0-1 West Brom: February 2016
I still to this day don’t understand how Everton lost against West Brom at home during the 2015/16 season. West Brom did what West Brom does and managed to procure the most shitehouse victory I’ve ever seen. Salomon Rondon scored the only goal of the game, unsurprisingly from a set-piece, in the 14th minute, and then the Everton onslaught began, with both Ross Barkley and Tom Cleverley hitting the post in the first half. Everton proceeded to register 33, yes 33 shots, while also earning 14 corners and 76% of the ball throughout the match, but still, failed to score. Everton that. I remember being in utter disbelief about the result considering how utterly dominant Everton were, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t bring your shooting boots against Tony Pulis’ fully parked bus. Dreadful.
9. Everton 2-2 Newcastle: January 2020
This one is still fresh. I don’t think I’ll ever forget when Everton let Florian Lejeune, who hadn’t scored a professional goal in over 1087 days, score two goals in 102 seconds in the 94th and 95th minutes. Everton that. What was supposed to be yet another win in the scintillating resurgence of Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton and a special day for Moise Kean, who had scored his first Everton goal in the 30th minute, turned into a defensive disasterclass and one of the most bitter results I’ve ever had to swallow. Everton were comprehensively the better team, as goals from Moise Kean and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave them a comfortable 2-0 advantage, and they didn’t even allow Newcastle to register a shot on target until the 86th minute! But that all came crumbling down when some 29-year-old French center-back brought in from Eibar decided he’d had enough and scored twice, including a sensational bicycle kick, to somehow scrape a point from an absolutely awful team performance by the Magpies on the road. I was so unbelievably furious after that game and I still haven’t watched the highlights since.
8. Record Signing Romelu Lukaku’s Post-Transfer Interview: July 2014
Romelu Lukaku will be fondly remembered as a player for the Toffees, scoring 87 goals in 166 appearances and leaving for Manchester United as Everton’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer. However, we always knew he never saw Everton as anything but a stepping stone for his career. Just a few days after becoming Everton’s record signing in a £28 million deal, he was quoted in the paper saying “When a team like Everton come and ask you, you need to take the chance. Look at the player who came here and went to a big club- Rodwell, Fellaini, Rooney. Good players have stayed here a year, maybe two or three, and gone onto a big team. Hopefully, it will be the same for me.” Now I’m no expert in management, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t a great indicator of a player’s commitment to the club when he is already talking about leaving just a few days after penning a contract. Everton that. These shenanigans continued, and Evertonians will remember Lukaku talking to the media about leaving the club almost every single international break. Great player, shitty professional.
7. Everton 3-3 Bournemouth: November 2015
Who could ever forget this game? It was Bournemouth’s first season in the top flight of English Football, and they looked it when they fell down 2-0 at home to the traveling Toffees thanks to goals from Ramiro Funes Mori and the aforementioned Romelu Lukaku in the first half. However, the cherries fought back, as Adam Smith scored a screamer past a helpless Tim Howard in the 80th minute, and then Junior Stanislas smashed home Josh King’s cross in the 87th to level it up. Then, just as it seemed Everton had thrown away the win, Ross Barkley turned in the box and scored in the 95th to surely win it, but in the celebrations, many Everton fans tumbled out onto the pitch, extending the allotted 6 minutes of stoppage time just long enough for Stanislas to score again in the 98th minute, this time with his head, and unbelievably salvage a point for Bournemouth. Everton that. It was an unbelievable game for a neutral, yes, but for me, a 15-year-old Ross Barkley fanboy, I was absolutely beside myself. I could not believe what I had just watched and little did I know I’d be in for more of the same that very season.
6. The Ross Barkley Transfer Saga: January 2018
“Ross Barkley is a Toffee through and through” sang the Goodison crowd on many occasions during Ross Barkley’s time with his boyhood club. However, we soon learned that was not quite the case. After a poor run of performances, Barkley found himself sitting on the bench for Ronald Koeman’s Everton, and decided he wanted out. A deal with Chelsea was all but signed in the summer prior to the 2017/18 season, but being in the midst of a lengthy hamstring injury, Ross Barkley pulled out of the deal in the 11th hour. He told the media he wanted to wait until he was fit to decide his future, even though we all knew Chelsea was where he wanted to go. Barkley decided to stay at Everton and used the first half of the season to recover from his injury, before predictably leaving for Chelsea in January. The only problem was that the new deal agreed upon in the winter window only required that Chelsea pay £15 million, as Barkley was in the last six months of his contract, instead of the £35 million that had been agreed just 6 months prior. So Ross Barkley, a Liverpool born academy product with Everton in his heart, decided to stay with the club for half a season in which he played 0 minutes, all while using the Finch Farm medical staff to nurse his injury, before leaving for Chelsea anyways and costing the club £20 million due to his decision to make the exact same move just 6 months later. Everton that. The Gwladys Street faithful made their thoughts about his actions very clear when he returned to Goodison Park with Chelsea the next season, as chants of “Barkley, what’s the score? Barkley, Barkley, what’s the score?” rang around the Old Lady during Everton’s 2-0 victory.
5. Everton 2-3 West Ham: March 2016
This game does a fantastic job of summing up Roberto Martinez’s tenure in charge at Goodison Park. Everton came out of the gates flying, with Romelu Lukaku scoring against the Hammers as he always did, and despite Kevin Mirallas picking up a rash second yellow in the 34th minute, Aaron Lennon doubled the Toffees’ advantage in the early second half. Everton had played very well, especially considering they were down to 10 men just after the half-hour mark, but that all came tumbling down, just like Martinez’s time at the club after the 2013/14 season. Despite being down a man with a 2-0 lead, Roberto decided to hook off a midfielder to give future cult hero Oumar Niasse his Premier League debut, and within 2 minutes Everton conceded their first of 3 goals in the final 12 minutes of the game, capped off by a Dimitri Payet winner at the Park End in the 90th minute. Everton that. I quite literally stormed into my room as a moody 16-year-old does and started knocking things over and throwing pillows at the wall in a fit of rage. Fun times.
4. Everton 2-1 Bournemouth: September 2017
Enjoy this one folks, as it is the only moment in this countdown in which Everton actually won the game. After a promising 2016/17 season in which Ronald Koeman led Everton to a comfortable 7th place finish in his first year behind the 25 goals of star striker Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United came knocking for the Belgian and Everton couldn’t refuse their offer. Wayne Rooney returned to his boyhood club in a separate transaction, but everyone understood that it was certainly a part of the deal that saw Everton’s all-time leading Premier League scorer swap the Old Lady for the Theater of Dreams. Koeman and Steve Walsh then had the task of replacing those missing 25 goals from the striker position but instead decided to buy two more players in the same position as Rooney in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaasen for whopping fees of £45 million and £30 million respectively. Everton’s start to the season was predictably horrid, and Koeman’s fate was very nearly sealed when Bournemouth came to Goodison. After falling behind in the 49th minute to a goal from Josh King, Koeman threw on Oumar Niasse, a player he had unreservedly disrespected and humiliated in many ways since Koeman’s arrival at the club. He had refused to give Oumar a locker in the changing rooms and demoted him to the U-23’s for a while, saying he would never play for the club again. However, Koeman realized his team had no real striker, and he recalled Niasse and gave him the #19 shirt just four days before the game. He then subbed on Niasse in the 55th minute, and the Senegalese striker scored in both the 77th and 82nd minutes to turn the game around and save Koeman’s job for a few more weeks. Everton that. What a hero.
3. EFL Cup Semi-Final: January 2016After a 2-1 win in the first leg of the EFL Cup Semi-Final at Goodison Park, Everton seemed certain to advance to their first cup final in 7 years when Ross Barkley drove past 4 players in the heart of Manchester City’s midfield and speared a ball into the bottom corner during the 18th minute of the second leg at the Etihad. However, Roberto Martinez’s Blues had other ideas and collapsed underneath the pressure of imminent success. Despite Fernandinho’s equalizer in the 24th minute, Everton played very well up until they conceded in the 70th minute from a goal that quite clearly should not have counted, as Raheem Sterling had clearly let the ball run out of play before crossing for Kevin De Bruyne to score. This goal completely flipped the momentum of the game and just 6 minutes later, Sergio Aguero tallied to give City a 4-3 lead on aggregate. Everton that. City went on to beat Liverpool to lift the cup, thank god, but it most definitely would have been a Merseyside Derby final if not for Martin Atkinson’s incompetence.
2. FA Cup Semi-Final: April 2016
That crushing defeat at the Etihad wouldn’t be the only Semi-Final collapse of the season for Everton, as they managed to book themselves a date with Manchester United at Wembley in the FA Cup. Despite the heartbreak just a few months earlier, Everton had the opportunity to get to a cup final after all, but that chance looked to slip further away when former Everton player Marouane Fellaini’s shot was deflected past Tim Howard in the 34th minute. Everton were still in the game, however, and after missing multiple 1-on-1’s with David De Gea, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to the penalty spot in the second half only to miss yet again, as David De Gea yet again capitalized on the striker’s horrendous finishing, this time turning the Belgian’s spot-kick past the post. The Toffees would not be denied though, and Gerard Deulofeu’s cross was turned in to his own goal by Chris Smalling, leveling the score in the 75th minute. However, Anthony Martial broke through in the 93rd minute and scored, dramatically sending United to the FA Cup Final all while breaking thousands of Evertonian hearts in the process. Everton that. Just like City, United went on to win the in the final while Everton’s 21 year wait for silverware continued.
Honorable Mentions: DCL playing RWB, Mane’s Winner at Goodison, Leroy Fer’s failed medical, Funes-Mori grabbing the badge after being sent off at Anfield
Everton 0-1 Liverpool: December 2018
Do I really have to talk about this? Divock Origi, fluke 96th-minute winner. You get the point. Everton that.
It has been quite a rocky road for me during my time as an Evertonian, but despite all the pain I’ve had to endure, I’m so unbelievably grateful that I support the greatest football club on Earth. I wouldn’t ever have it any other way. I’d love to know what you all think of my list. Which moments did I miss and which did I rank too highly? Let me know on twitter @ParrettGost. Hopefully, we won’t have to experience quite as many “Everton that” moments in the next 8 years, but I honestly doubt it. Alas, “Everton that” all stems from exactly what Everton is.