Last year was a confounding year for Evertonians. After season upon season of starting poorly, the club soared to a staggering 5th place near Christmas time, something unheard of for Everton. Talk of Champions League was in the air, and the sense of optimism that pervades Goodison Park seemed to have real meaning.
Then there was a hard crash to reality. First a 3-0 drubbing by Wigan Athletic infuriated fans and players alike. Then points began to drop resulting in Everton slowly slipping out of the Champions League race. Then in May the hammer blow came as David Moyes departed to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Despite a 6th place finish it was not the ending Evertonians had hoped for.
But football isn't always about the end game, sometimes it needs to be about the journey. Yes, it is rough dealing with the many should haves and could haves during a Premier League season; the missed opportunities and the stupid mistakes. But it doesn't mean fans need to write off a season as a disappointment. Remember the good moments; the 1-0 defeat of Manchester United to open the season or the always exciting beat down of Manchester City. Great experiences are remembered, and they don't always require trophies.
This season will be trying at times. With any new manager there come growing pains, especially with such a contrast in styles. When a club does well consistently but never quite manages to get to the top, fans can become guilty of thinking success is easy. It isn't, even the big teams slip up occasionally, and the new guy isn't automatically better than the old guy just because he is different. A match between club and manager is not simple, and we should do well to remember that.
Instead enjoy the journey this season. There will be moments of glory and despair regardless of how well the club does. Maybe we manage to lift a trophy, but maybe we don't qualify for Europe. But on the way to finding out we can have some fun. When a fan base begins to define success solely based on trophies we call them Liverpool. Don't be Liverpool.
More from Royal Blue Mersey:
- School of Science: Writer Predictions
- Royal Blue Mailbag: Pre-season edition
- School of Science: Tactical Analysis
- School of Science: Transfer Targets
- School of Science: Schedule Analysis