Dream season provides wake up call for sleepy boardroom
I wanted to write a season review; go through each month and highlight the best bits. The usual stuff.
But having read a few excellent season reviews this week, I thought another review put out there would be an exercise in futility.
These are simply my own personal views and another chance to wax lyrical on a fantastic debut season for Roberto Martinez.
And the long overdue re-opening of the School of Science.
2013-14 Everton Season Review
When Roberto Martinez was appointed on June 5 2013, I had a rare chance to praise the board; I thought it was a great appointment. Wigan’s relegation was irrelevant for me and from the first time Roberto spoke it was clear we had got the right man for the job.
The emphasis Martinez placed on our history, including installing pictures of our greatest sides and achievements on the walls at Finch Farm, an Alan Ball mosaic in the changing rooms and the constant references to the School of Science, meant Roberto was off to a flyer.
After having had years of being told best of the rest was as good as it was gonna get, it was manna from heaven to hear our new manager talk with such confidence about our prospects for the forthcoming season.
The teams new style could not have been more different from the previous regime. Quite clearly, it was a return to the old Everton ways; an emphasis on possession football and creating spaces to exploit through technique and movement.
The players were encouraged to be brave on the ball, young players encouraged to go out and
is no coincidence players such as Ross Barkley, John Stones and Seamus Coleman have blossomed this season.
Roberto has instilled a no fear approach and we have been rewarded with some truly wonderful moments because of this change in mentality from our manager.
The first half at the Emirates was unreal for me. I have never seen an Everton team play as well as that. Arsenal, so often the dominant force at home, could not get near an Everton side playing with such quality, such movement.
The Martinez vision fleshed out in a wonderful performance. And a tantalising glimpse into the future for all Evertonians.
It was truly fitting our last goal of the season; Lukaku’s 16th of the season against Hull, was one made in the image of our manager.
Starting from the goalkeeper, 16 passes later, with patience, control and aggression in equal measure; Hull, unable to lay a glove, could only watch as Lukaku latched onto Osman’s beautifully weighted through ball to slot home to make it 2-0.
Roberto has not only installed a sense of arrogance on the pitch, his confidence has brought out the best in the supporters.
The positivity has been there all season long and we’ve had a wonderful journey.
Being a rampant tweeter allows an immediate insight into the emotions and thoughts of others.
From what I’ve seen consistently this season, the feel good factor is well and truly back amongst Evertonians.
This was no better demonstrated on the day of the Man Utd away game.
There wasn’t any nerves leading up to it as almost to a man, Evertonians believed we could win at Old Trafford.
A ground that had brought us nothing but despair for over 20 years. The confidence of the fans was replicated by the players in a fantastic 1-0 win.
A huge result which changed things; we beat a top four side, this didn’t happen, did it?
Roberto’s Everton had arrived
The confidence was carried through the rest of the season; 21 wins, 72 points and 15 clean sheets are the standout statistics from a season that has offered huge promise for the future.
The low points were few and far between. Liverpool taking advantage of a weakened Everton side at Anfield, the 4-1 reverse at the Emirates in the cup and the mother of them all; the 2-3 defeat to Crystal Palace – effectively ending our Champions League hopes were all disappointing. Gutting truthfully.
With Roberto’s revolution in full swing, we have no room for negativity. We are moving forward as a football club.
The loans Roberto made were fantastic on two levels. Barry, Lukaku and to a lesser extent Deulofeu, improved the team as well as outraging each and every media commentator out there who had pinned their hopes on us failing after Moyes had left.
Such anger over something so perfectly within the rules was embarrassing.
Experienced journalists throwing their toys out of the pram almost daily as Everton’s season grew stronger. For all the frustration it brought to our fan base, I found the outrage laughable. As a clear sign we had gotten under people’s skin. We were now considered a threat. Much better to be hated than liked in football.
Lets hope we are detested next season with Roberto loaning even more players this summer. With even greater quality naturally added to the necessity of permanent signings.
Which leads us onto the board. I am not their biggest fan and never will be but there is no other option but to trust them once more.
They can surely see that with investment into the playing squad this window – given that we have smashed our Premier League points tally playing some world-class football at times – we now have a golden chance to make an impact on not just the Europa League next season but also the title race.
Ambition has to be pouring out of the boardroom. We are a team in the ascendancy. I can taste the promise for next season and with Roberto, the team and the fans deserving quality additions in the summer, this is Kenwright’s chance to make up for a lot of missed birthdays.
Does the “greatest Evertonian” love us enough to finally show some ambition this summer? Roberto Martinez isn’t here to mess about and Everton are a team rapidly going places. This cannot be halted once more by lack of finance. The time to strike is now.
If Roberto gets what he wants I think we can realistically challenge for the title. This might sound far-fetched but we finished just 12 points off the champions this season.
Do the maths Bill, the answer is always the same. Invest now and watch historyall there for us.
What adds conviction to my belief that we can challenge for the title and the Europa League is the talent coming through the youth system. Players such as Ty Browning and Ryan Ledson, who Roberto has already labelled a player in the mould of the school of science, playing without fear in a team encouraged to express itself.
With injured players such as Oviedo and Gibson back and adding the right kind of depth to our squad, I just cant help but think our time is here.
A team with a nucleus of Coleman, Stones, McCarthy and Barkley (no loans there) is quite simply, ready to explode.
If Roberto starts next season with a squad stronger than this one, we will all be happy. The magnificent effort the team made this season has to be rewarded off the pitch with quality additions. Let’s loan a few worldies from La Liga just to get the dummy spitting back next season. It’s too funny to be without it.
Having been a regular at Goodison Park and witnessing the horror shows such as Kendall mark II and III, Mike Walker and Walter Smith, I would like to thank Roberto from the bottom of my heart for what he has done to our club this season. He has simply given us our Everton back.
The child like enthusiasm for us next season is overwhelming. A new dawn is here and it was worth putting up with years of rubbish to come out the other side and experiencetimes are here blues.
We are on the verge of a fantastic era; we can’t allow the on pitch momentum to be held up in themore excuses Bill.
Chairman’s back their managers. They don’t tell us romantic stories of their youth. Put the storybook down and get the cheque book out and we can all re-live 1984-85 next season.
“We aren’t going away,” said Martinez. “It’s not about what the others can do. It’s about how much we can improve on what we have done this season.”
I’m sure Bill will love the drama of being centre stage now.
Let’s hope he has remembered his lines