Monday, August 10, 2020

Is supporting Everton some sort of psychological experiment?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 22 Jan 2020

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It seems to be an unhealthy hobby following a football club on a regular basis. However, some clubs and teams are more infuriating than others. These are not clubs that upset other fans or teams. These are teams who constantly shoot themselves in the foot.

Unfortunately, for me, Everton are one of those clubs. Tuesday nights 2-2 draw was just a typical thing that could only happen to Everton. If there is a freak incident to occur, then the Blues suffer it.

Is it some sort of psychological experiment?

There has been a theory floating around social media that Everton has been set up as some sort of psychological experiment to see how far human beings can be pushed before they are carted off to a mental institute. A sort of real-life Truman Show, if you will.

Everton are the team a player wants to play if they haven’t scored for a decade, or a team wants to face when they are on a losing streak. The Blues will always give them a helping hand. As I understand it Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune had never scored for the Magpies. Yet, the French centre-back managed to score not one, but two stoppage-time goals at Goodison Park.

Nobody saw that coming. However, this is Everton we are talking about. Literally, anything can and will happen to the Blues. One of the other examples from earlier in the season was Sheffield United winning 2-0 at Goodison, having had just one shot on target. If ever a club was Hexed it is Everton.

Everton’s mentality needs to change

I may joke about hexes and so on. However, the real crux of the problems at Everton for nearly 30 years has been mentality. Evertonian’s are so starved of success, yet we still stick with the team. The problem is that every Everton team of late seems to have a weak mentality.

That must change under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian is one of the most successful European coaches of his generation. Getting something out of this current group of Everton players may his biggest challenge yet.

Some have blamed the Italian’s substitutions for the Newcastle draw. However, it is not the Italian who gave away a silly free-kick or failed to mark his man on two set-pieces. Quite simply, the players were not good enough to hold on to a two-goal lead in stoppage-time. That is just unacceptable.

There is a feeling around Merseyside that a lot of these players could be heading for a summer exit, as time and time again they have let the fans down. Hopefully, the players that arrive have a winning mentality or one that at least helps them keep hold of a two-goal lead in stoppage-time.

Still in with a chance of the top-six

The crazy thing is that Everton has endured another poor campaign, yet a win yesterday would have taken the Blues up to eighth place in the Premier League table. That says more about the lack of quality amongst the other teams than anything good about the Toffees.

Another bizarre thing is that top-six finish is not out of sight. In fact, Ancelotti’s team are just four points off fifth-place Manchester United. Both United and sixth-place Wolves have to play in the midweek fixtures, but a top-six finish is not unrealistic for Everton.

The Toffees are currently odds of 9/1 to finish in the English top-flight’s top-six. Of course, Everton being Everton they won’t achieve it. They will probably go on a run only to miss out through goal difference or three own goals on the last day of the season.

It has to be said, that no matter how bad it gets, I will not give up on Everton, even if they are extremely bad for my health. It is what football is about supporting your team through thick and thin. It may be a rollercoaster, but I love Everton anyway and that will never change.

Can Everton still finish in the Premier League top-six?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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