After a great start to our campaign this season I think most Evertonians built up some hope that we may have turned a corner. Our new signings were all looking good and the players seemed to have their positive mentality back, something which has been non-existent in this team for quite a while. December soon came and everything was looking rosy. We were in a decent league position, taking it to the big teams and were so close to beating Chelsea on their own turf. Silva was actually going in with a mind-set to try and win every game. Up next was Liverpool at Anfield, a ground which we are simply cursed at. However us blues were confident of securing a win for the first time in twenty years, we were all so up-beat. Unfortunately a big reminder came of the luck we have as a club on the 96th minute when Divock Origi headed home the easiest chance of his life after Pickford’s error and our season went down like a building under controlled demolition. It felt like all our hopes had been dashed as the next three months would see us win three games out of thirteen in the premier league, not to mention getting knocked out the FA Cup by Millwall.
After what felt like the longest of times, Everton suddenly had a change of heart and decided to play football again, finishing the season better than what we started. If you had to ask me what happened I wouldn’t be able to say for certain but it’s probably down to the team needing to gel and getting fully used to Silva’s ideas. A lot of managers come in to a club, do great, then go straight downhill. Look at Solkskjaer at the minute. It’s all down to the managers character and I feel Marco passed a big test in his first season by coming through that awful drought. Kudos to the board for sticking with him too as there were a lot of fans wanting him out. Football is fickle we all know that and it seems a distant memory now that we are playing some fantastic football again. Beating Chelsea, Arsenal and absolutely hammering United will only have done this team the world of good for their belief next season.
So speaking of next season, what can we expect from the mighty blues? First of all, I think it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves after our great end to the latest campaign. I learnt a big lessons after the Roberto’s first season not to jump the gun. We could also lose Gana and not sign Zouma or Gomes. This is one of the key factors for me. In order for a team to play together correctly we can’t drastically change it so keeping these players is a must especially Gueye and Zouma. They are two well oiled cogs in our machine and I really hope they can see their future’s at the club and attach themselves to Marco’s vision. Without sounding too grim, there are also plenty of goals we can achieve next season, starting with breaking Sky’s lovechild, the top six.
At this very moment in time, It’s no secret that Manchester United are struggling. We destroyed them, and they have just lost at home to Cardiff on the final day. I feel we can push them next season if we pick up where we left off. United will spend money but guess what, so will we. There is also the state that Chelsea find themselves in with their transfer ban. Yes I know they have finished eighteen points ahead of us but I can’t see their star man Hazard staying and we have a chance to improve whilst they stand still. If we are to break the top six, next season is surely our big chance. It’s up to Everton to get it right starting with signing the right players to take us that bit further.
One big difference we have now within the club compared to Martinez signing ex Wigan players or the P.E teacher, Steve Walsh burning holes in Moshiris’ pockets, is our director of football, Marcel Brands. He has already stated that the plans are in place for bringing players in and out of the club during this transfer window and that fills me with great confidence. Every signing he has made seems to have impressed the Goodison faithful, even Mina who some would argue was his worst, has shown to me that he is capable of playing in this league. Apart from Zouma and Gomes, bringing in a striker is an absolute must for me. I feel we would have won so many more games this season if we had an out-and-out goal scorer and this HAS to be Brands’ main target. A solid striker will be the difference to going that bit further I’m sure nearly every blue would agree. The good thing about it is that he probably already has players in mind to fit into this team, the man just oozes professionalism to me and he seems to know what he is doing. Added to that a couple more signings and we are looking good.
This now brings us to players out on loan. I’m not talking about the likes of Ashley Williams or Cuco Martina but more the likes of Onyekuru and Vlasic. Are these players who could come and get into this side? Both of those players have done really well and let’s not forget Holgate who could push Coleman for that right back position after a decent spell at West Brom. I’m sure Marco will have a look at them before making any rash decisions but these could be massive pluses for Everton next season. Let’s not forget that our under 23’s have just won the double, who’s to say some of these players aren’t in Marco’s plans? The likes of Morgan Feeney or Anthony Gordon will be surely trying to squeeze themselves into the back of the manager’s head.
I think as fans, we all would love that bit of long awaited silverware. I have no doubt that we could do it either and this should be our other goal for next season. Everton simply have to win a cup and I hope Marco will just go for it this time. There’s no European football for us so to me, there’s no excuse for playing weakened teams. I really hope we can just go for it and the manager has learnt his lesson from last season’s League Cup game against Southampton. Us supporter’s have been starved of it for too long and we deserve to see this team do something for our trophy cabinet. I said not to get ahead of ourselves, but breaking the top six and going for a cup are two very doable goals for Everton.
Speaking of the fans, ourselves truly, I just want to empathise how important it is that we get behind the team next season. Since the derby, Goodison has been absolutely rocking and we need to have our voices heard again at The Old Lady for every game in the coming campaign. The players have stated it has an effect on the team and the evidence is there for all to see. I just want to give a massive shout-out to The Originals for all the inspiration they have gave the club and the fans seem to be totally on board. Goodison needed life breathing into it after a few terrible seasons and it feels so much better going the game again.
Lastly, I just want to touch on the manager. It may have seemed an age ago but mentions of Arteta coming in and calling for Silva’s head seem to have evaporated into thin air and rightly so. As soon as Koeman and Martinez hit a real bad patch they didn’t seem to come through it. Silva has, and it’s so important we all get on board with his and Brands’ plan. I’m glad he came through it too because the players love him and his style off football is the best we have had in a long time. Anyone remember zonal marking being a problem too? I certainly think he has rectified that problem.
If I had to sum the season up in one word it would be ‘Potential’. This squad has shown what it is capable of recently and fingers crossed we bring our A game in august along with the right signings and right mind-set. I’m looking forward to it. Come On You Blues!