Hello? Hello? Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home?
I grew up with Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall. The above lyrics are the opening lines of Comfortably Numb, from The Wall, written in 1979. It’s a hugely under-rated song, in my view, and has been widely covered by artists ranging from Van Morrison & Pearl Jam to the Scissor Sisters (my favourite version, bizarrely).
As Arsenal sauntered to a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes on Saturday evening, and the first Everton fans began leaving, it was clear that there was nobody home in our defence, nor our midfield for that matter. Nobody capable of nodding a cross away, putting in a tackle or two. Of greater concern to me, though, is whether there is anyone at home at the top of our great Club?
I have written consistently about a cosy culture at EFC, one of buck passing and zero accountability. A culture lacking a ruthless, winning streak and most importantly where the on pitch performances reflect the laissez-faire attitude off it.
The fume post-Arsenal has reached new highs (or lows): Schneiderlin surpassed himself with a “minus 10” player rating from Ped, Mark Mosey delivered a magnificent rant on the BlueRoom Post Match Podcast having left at half time.
I even found myself apologising to my son, Glenn, for inflicting Everton on him.
Desperate times, truly desperate times; and, before anyone says I enjoy writing negative stuff, let me tell you that I do not. I hate being down on my Club, but, like any relationship, I need to get something back.
I suppose I should be grateful that the Club have shared their Key Stadium Development Principles. Better late than never, arguably? Don’t forget we have a “record” shirt sponsorship deal too, a sleeve sponsor & a beautifully clean balance sheet. However, rather than closing in on the Top 6, we are headed to the Elephant’s Graveyard alongside Villa, Sunderland & Leeds.
According to many we should now be moving on to our 4th manager this season. Believe me our problems go a lot deeper than that. How in the name of Dixie was he ever appointed?!? The coaching staff (Lee, Shakespeare, Ferguson etc), the Director of Football, the CEO, the Chairman, the entire Board and, most importantly, Farhad Moshiri, need to take their considerable share of the blame for this unholy mess.
Allardyce is not the problem, he is the primary symptom of incompetence at the highest level.
Moshiri’s investment has arguably already doubled in value, and I have no sympathy for him or any of those taking huge salaries from the Club. They do not care, they are not paid to care; but they should be paid to perform, to meet targets, to be accountable and be in fear of their jobs if they do not meet those targets.
That culture can only be infused from the top down, this is Moshiri’s business now (it has been for nearly two years), he has to set the tone, define the structure and allocate targets. You don’t do that by just firing another manager.
Apparently we should “write this season off”; let’s file it away under “expected losses” shall we? Maybe a spot of sun in Dubai will help…..
It takes a very special combination of mismanagement, arrogance and plain stupidity to make passionate Blues like me (and you) lose our feeling for Everton. But that has been a common theme from many in the last 48 hours.
Music is a source of comfort in the saddest of times so I am going to crank up the Scissor Sisters; how appropriate are the closing lyrics…
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb