The 2017-18 season was supposed to be the middle year of Farhad Moshiri’s three-year plan to transform Everton into genuine top four contenders.
After last year’s seventh placed finish, Ronald Koeman’s team was expected to push the top six and go on a decent run in Europe.
Instead, we’ve endured one of the most miserable campaigns in recent memory that has seen the team lurch backwards and a troubling disconnect open up between the club and the supporters.
In response, Moshiri has been ruthless. Out goes manager Sam Allardyce, his coaching staff and director of football Steve Walsh. In comes Marcel Brands as Walsh’s successor while the Dutchman will now begin the process of finding and recruiting Allardyce’s replacement.
Meanwhile chief executive Robert Elstone has left for Super League with Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale taking his place.
Keith Harris and Alexander Ryazantsev have also taken up senior management positions as Moshiri strengthens his position in the boardroom.
It has been a whirlwind 24 hours, almost unprecedented given the amount of change that has occurred at the very top of the club.
Quiet 24 hours at EFC.— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) May 16, 2018
Moshiri buying Jon Woods shares.
Robert Elstone leaves.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale becomes Chief Exec.
Alexander Ryazantsev - Chief Finance & Commercial Officer.
Sam Allardyce & backroom Team sacked.
Steve Walsh sacked.
Marcel Brands new Director of Football.
It is a clear admission by Moshiri that his initial plan hadn’t worked and it was time to rip it up and start all over again.
In fact, Moshiri gave up on his initial project in November when, spooked by the prospect of relegation, he recruited firefighter Allardyce.
Allardyce has done what we all expected him to do. All the talk of grasping the biggest opportunity of his career and showing he could adapt to match the ambitions of the club proved to be a fallacy. He was never going to change and he, like Everton, saw it as an awkward marriage of convenience.
It meant we have had to endure a wretched six months, but by seeing us through to the summer Allardyce has done his job and leaves with a handsome pay-off.
With the reset button pressed, Moshiri must start again and his decisive action has already put key building blocks in place.
A new manager must now be appointed sooner rather than later to allow focus to be switched onto the playing squad.
The loose timescale for the new manager search is now 10 days to a fortnight as Brands and Barrett Baxendale select a coach suited to the squad and a specific style of football in line with what #Everton fans want— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) May 16, 2018
Last summer’s chaotic recruitment drive has left us with an expensively assembled but in-balanced set of players, that will likely take more than one transfer window to rectify.
That’s where our responsibility as supporters come in.
We owe it to Brands and whoever the new manager is to give them our full backing, even if results don’t immediately go our way.
The atmosphere at Goodison Park has been terrible for a while now. But when the Old Lady is roaring it can give the players a real lift. We need to play our part.
In return all we want is a clear identity and purpose. The club has drifted over the past year and needs to regain a sense of direction.
We all want success, in fact we crave it after enduring 23 long years without a trophy.
But even the most impatient of Evertonian would accept a few bumps along the road provided the club’s overall vision was something we could all get on board with and believe in.
Today was the first time I’ve felt optimistic and excited about Everton in a long time. We are no closer to returning to the top table of English football, but it at least feels like we could be at the start of a long journey that takes us there.