The bottom line is Everton Football Club must survive.
With the curtain about to come down on this long and arduous campaign, it all comes down to this; one win for guaranteed safety. After Leeds’ loss to West Ham and Leicester taking a point home from Newcastle on Monday evening, we now know the scenario and the fate of Everton Football Club lies squarely in the hands of these players and Sean Dyche.
It’s been season of hiring and firing; of headlocks and protests; of compo claims and weird press mutterings – even by Everton’s standards this campaign has been bizarre but ultimately all too familiar. The grim reality is Everton have been within a whisker of becoming a Championship club, for the second time in as many seasons and while nobody has a right to be in the topflight Everton Football Club is steeped in history, a history to be proud of, a history that still holds its own with the best of English football and this is despite the many barren years we have had to endure.
Before the now infamous Crystal Palace game of last season, I sat and wrote a piece for Grand Old Team with a sadly similar theme to this and included the following, which just over twelve months on still rings true: ‘No other sport in the world is as emotionally draining as being a football fan and no football club in the world drains the emotions of their fans like Everton Football Club.’
Sean Dyche arrived at Finch Farm with the same remit Frank Lampard had around 12 months previous ‘keep Everton in the Premier League!’ given the gravity of the situation when he arrived it’s been one of his tougher assignments, but the returns have been much improved. Home wins against Arsenal, Leeds, Brentford and a useful draw with Spurs adding to a huge win at Brighton with points picked up at Chelsea, Leicester and Wolves but all that will become completely insignificant if another Goodison win doesn’t follow on Sunday afternoon.
If you take a trip through Sandhills on the train or have a wander down the docks you’ll see a new era in the history of our illustrious club being brought to life, as the Bramley Moore Dock structure begins to take shape, but it’s also a reminder that the life of our current matriarch is growing short; before long we’ll be saying our last goodbyes and leaving her behind for new pastures; but before all that there’s work to be done to maintain our long-standing topflight status.
Despite some recent weird narrative to the contrary – see Martin Keown on Talksport – The commitment from Evertonians is unquestionable; season upon season the fans have sold out home and away, no matter how dire it has become to watch and how desperately grave our situation remains the unwavering support from the stands is second to none. Somewhere around 97% have taken up their renewal for next season; despite not actually knowing which league we’ll be watching Everton play in, along with a season ticket waiting list and every away fixture of the season once again sold out but this Sunday we are needed more than ever – it’s Wimbledon mixed with Coventry and a sprinkling of Crystal Palace for good measure.
So – here. We. Are – it’s game 38, there are no second chances or a plan B it’s do or die it’s win or (possibly!) bust. One win. No exceptions.