Alex Iwobi, anyone! A shining example of what time, patience and the right coach can do for a player. Both Frank Lampard and the Nigerian deserve immense credit for the transformation from expensive also-ran to team mainstay.
Dwight McNeil seems to be the latest in the line of fire. In today’s world, social media ensures that celebrities and those in the public eye are closer than ever to the fans and the discussion, meaning that they see what is being said about them, which must have an effect, be it a positive or negative one.
With regards to the current personnel and coaching staff, we need to be patient. I know! It seems that all we have done is wait patiently for years for the tide to turn in the Club’s fortunes. And while change is a must for certain areas of how Everton is run, I feel it essential to stick together and get behind our onfield combatants, as well as the head coach. Lampard has shown he can develop a player.
Now, this is no way a message of let’s just accept everything that is going on at Goodison at the moment. As Everton fans, we have a right to be p***ed off! Four games into a new season and the same old issues continue to plague our great club. As the transfer window rapidly draws to a close, The Blues still frantically scrabble around the transfer market in search of players that will hopefully ensure that the Goodison faithful does not have to endure another season like the previous one.
But, at present, doubt and worry is very much prevalent in the hearts and minds of many Toffees. Anthony Gordon’s future is up in the air and dividing opinion, while the lack of firepower and creativity is cause for concern. Throw into the mix that Lampard’s team is winless in the opening three league games, and you would forgive Evertonians for being, at the very least, disgruntled with what is going on.
My opinions as to what is wrong with our club does not solely rest on the shoulders of just one individual. That being said, Wayne Rooney was sold to balance the books almost 20 years ago and, with the same thing may have to be done with Gordon, it can hardly escape notice that one chairman has reigned over that period, a tenure in which Everton has taken tentative steps forward before experiencing sharp movement backwards.
But the piece’s title mentioned patience. And, as hard as it may be, Lampard and his team need it, as much as those at boardroom level need taking to task. Our manager inherited a complete mess and has been charged with improving almost every position on the field. I have documented on many occasions that Everton has lacked leadership for years, with Seamus Coleman fighting almost a lone battle in offering personality to a team devoid in confidence and fight. Conor Coady and James Tarkowski are vocal presences that have been added, while the team itself looks far more well organised and resolute. The lack of a striker being added to the squad is, at the very least, negligent, and that point deserves the fans’ scorn, no question. But football is about fine margins, and the mood may well have been different if Everton had beaten Nottingham Forest and taken a point against either Chelsea of Aston Villa.
The team has been directionless for years. A string of managers with different ideas, squandering huge amounts of money on players who aren’t good enough for the Club, rightly infuriates the fanbase, who consistently lift the team and played a huge part in kept maintaining its Premier League status, last season. But at some point, we need to stick with a manger’s plan and see it through.
Mikel Arteta at Arsenal is a perfect example. This is not an exact science and not guaranteed to work, but the number of managers, players, ideas, that has crashed and burned is frightening, and has largely contributed to the directionless mess that Lampard inherited. I must point out, I was certainly not against most of the coaches receiving their marching orders, but I still have a belief (or hope) that Lampard will succeed.
And with that, I back his decisions and the players he brings in and sticks with.