Monday, January 24, 2022

Everton – A club in crisis? If so, how did that happen?

All is not well at Everton right now. Chief Executive Keith Wyness resigned, manager David Moyes has made his present unhappiness very public, Chairman Bill Kenwright has felt the need to make a statement about the lack of signings, the big money transfer of Andy Johnson might not go through and the players are not performing on the pitch.

Some bookies have David Moyes as favourite to be the first manager sacked in the Premier League this season and some newspapers are referring to the Goodison Park outfit as a club in crisis. But is it really that bad?

The departure of Keith Wyness sent shock waves around the club. The reason for his departure has not been fully explained, although the denial regarding his intention to join his friend, who has taken ownership of Real Mallorca in Spain, sounded a little hollow.

A series of poor pre-season performances continued this week when Everton went down 2-0 to Chicago Fire. Not only did they deservedly lose, but they had teenage striker James Vaughan sent off for a truly horrible tackle. Moyes totally condemned the tackle. “It was a terrible tackle from James Vaughan. I have told him and I just will not have that. He has apologised but it is the player he made the tackle on he should be apologising to.”

David Moyes has a very small squad in America and faces another game today against Colorado Rapids. After that there are just two weeks until the new season and they are yet to add to their squad all summer.

He told Everton TV: “We cannot hide the fact that we need new players at Everton. Everybody knows it, I know it, the players know it – we have to get five or six players in before the season starts. It is okay getting fit, but you have got to be able to play better. At the moment there is not enough competition for the players to realise that if they play poorly they will not be selected.”

He sounded a little desperate when he went on to say, “We are a long way away from where we think we are going to be but that is due to several different circumstances. We are having to use some of the lads more than we would like to but some of them are just not playing well. Some of them are going to have to start looking at their own performances because we do not have any competition just now. Maybe it is a little bit easy for them. We do not have enough players to cope with what we have got just now. It is a big concern.”

Chairman Bill Kenwright has stepped into the fold and appealed for patience among the Everton faithful.

“Whilst I can fully understand the sense of frustration being felt by our supporters in the wake of what some perceive to be a moratorium with regard to the signing of new players, I feel it is important to make a few points,” he is quoted as saying on the Everton website.

“Our attempts to complete the signings of players we believe will improve the quality of our first-team squad continues on an hourly basis. We have had a budget for incoming transfers since the start of the summer – and that budget is in no way reliant or dependent upon either the proposed relocation of the club to Kirkby or the sale of current players. Any proceeds from outgoing transfers will, you can rest assured, be added to the existing budget to strengthen our manager’s hand as he seeks to enter the transfer market. David [Moyes] and myself have been trying throughout the close season to sign those players whom he believes will help to improve the squad which achieved so much during the last campaign. I appreciate that waiting can be hard and that patience is invariably in short supply but we do expect to make signings before the opening of the new Premier League season.”

Everton fans seem to be genuinely worried by the current position. Loan players Manuel Fernandes and Thomas Gravesen have gone back to their respective clubs and the striker Andy Johnson seemed to be joining Fulham before the move hit a snag. Absolutely no new talent has been brought in this summer, leading many fans to question whether the proposed move to a new stadium in Kirkby might be causing the club serious financial difficulties.

The transfer market has left Moyes exasperated this summer, with the club no closer to signing long-term targets Joao Moutinho, Darren Bent or Vagner Love.

With the news that the proposed £12 million transfer of Andy Johnson could be off, Moyes will now know that he is even more restricted than he thought he would be.

The three pre-season defeats have done little to improve Moyes’ mood, while the sudden departure of chief executive Keith Wyness has made the recruitment of players all the more difficult.

Moyes, though, says his commitment to Everton remains firm despite the frustrations.

“I am not going anywhere. I am here and intend to see the job through. We have great expectations and I hope that I am able to fulfil them. I hope that maybe we can try and get together in the next week or two and sort something out. At the moment my energies are focused on bringing in new players. We have a certain amount of money to improve what we have got here. We need to bring in better players now to try and help the squad. But we don’t have bundles of cash.”

With the club finishing fifth last season I fully expected them to mount a challenge again this season for that elusive fourth place and final Champions League qualifying place. With a manager who seemed secure in his job and up for the challenge it seemed only a matter of time before the club made another big push.

It is hard to see how things have changed so suddenly over the summer. Can any Everton fans shed some light on just what is going on?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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