It’s all change at Goodison Park. The new owner has installed a brand new manager and the club’s first ever director of football. New signings are arriving, too, and there’s cause for optimism among Evertonians. Cautious optimism, obviously. But two decades of grey skies may actually be clearing. By Graham Ennis.

We’re not ready. Whose idea was it to start the season in mid-August? Actually, come to think of it, given that most of our team stopped playing around February, you’d think they’d be fully refreshed and raring to go… not so.

It’s been a summer of change at Goodison Park. The new owners have bedded in, a new manager has arrived and a new ‘Director of Football’ (whatever that is?) has started work. All we need now is new players… and we’re getting there. Yannick Bolasie has arrived, joining Idrissa Gana Gueye, Ashley Williams and some goalie whose name I can’t spell. It looks like it won’t stop there, either: “We are very pleased about today’s signing, but remain anxious to further strengthen the squad,” Farhad Moshiri said yesterday. Ye Gods. Is this Everton we’re talking about? I’m simply thrilled.

It’s clear for all to see that Ronald Koeman has come in and quickly assessed where the club was and what was needed to put it right. This is massively encouraging. Everyone could see that Martinez’s reign ended in complete disarray – I’m not one to throw all the blame in his direction, but it would appear to be beyond doubt that the players were little more than a disorganized, unfit rabble. Even now, Koeman says they are 70% fit because they were allowed too long a break over the summer. He overlooks the fact that he, himself, spent most of the summer on his jollies and maybe had he come back earlier he might have been able to start the job sooner… but maybe that’s too simplistic. We don’t know what was going on during those weeks, when it appeared that we were struggling to make an appointment, and should perhaps rest assured that EFC secured its top targets in Koeman and Walsh – and back them to the hilt while they get on with the job.

What does this season hold for us, then? That probably depends on a few things – first, who else is there to come in and, second, how will the players respond to Koeman’s approach? We saw last season how ineffective a team can be when they stop playing for a manager. So, if everyone buys in (and that includes the supporters, obviously), I think we can achieve something. Let’s not forget many people thought that last season’s squad was one of the best we’ve put together for generations and it’s arguable that with the addition of a better goalkeeper and centre-half, Koeman’s squad is actually better. Personally, I want a cup… don’t give me any of this challenging for Europe.

I want some silverware on the team photo next year. It’s been too long.


Pic courtesy Mirrorpix