With 2019 almost at an end, the realization that the second decade of the new millennium is also drawing to a close.. which means yet another long dry decade of a lack of success for Everton. As the month of December goes on we’ll take a look back at the last ten years and relive some highlights, some lowlights, and everything else in between.
Today is also Thanksgiving Day in the United States, so it’s a good time to give thanks as well for the few good things we have had. Let’s kick off this series with a few quick Everton thoughts, prompted by this Twitter meme we saw.
Your club's...— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) November 24, 2019
Best signing of the decade
Worst signing of the decade
Best manager of the decade
Worst manager of the decade
Best moment of the decade
The RBM writers all took a shot at answering this roundtable fashion, and some of the answers should come as no surprise.
Best Signing of the Decade
Chris: Idrissa Gueye - Unheralded and inexpensive, the Senegalese from Aston Villa would use his Everton career to become one of the two best defensive midfielders in England. His move to a worldwide stage at PSG was well deserved.
Zach: Gana, by some distance.
Brian F: Lucas Digne
Patrick: Romelu Lukaku - After countless years of watching Louis Saha, Jermaine Beckford, Rashidi Yakubu, Victor Anichebe, etc, it was a pleasure watching him bag some amazing goals for us.
Matthew: Idrissa Gueye - could easily have been Romelu Lukaku for his many goals, but for value for money, commitment and importance to the team, Gueye edged it. A brilliant player, and a snip at just £7 million. We miss him terribly now.
Pete: Idrissa Gana Gueye
Calvin: Gana and Rom are great shouts, so for variety I’ll throw in Gareth Barry, who was a rock for us in the middle.
Worst Signing of the Decade
Chris: Davy Klaassen - It never made sense, did it? The Dutchman occupied a position where Everton had loads of depth, he had never played in England, and he was a Koeman choice, which in hindsight was indicative of the fractured structure behind the scenes at the club. Klaassen was unceremoniously dumped to Werder Bremen at a financial loss.
Zach: Davy by even more of a distance
Brian F: Sandro Ramirez
Patrick: Yannick Bolasie - A huge fee for a flashy winger with not much finishing; Arouna Koné and Aiden McGeady finish just outside the top spot.
Matthew: Gylfi Sigurdsson - if we’re judging this on the worst footballer Everton have signed this decade, probably Cuco Martina or Denis Stracqualursi would take the biscuit. But judging the worst signing based on their return on the fee paid and our own expectations as fans, I’d go with Sigurdsson. We’ve obviously signed many worse footballers this decade, but none have disappointed me as much as him. One of the most passive, infuriating players we’ve had in years, Everton play better without him. Now 30, I’d have no problem with the club taking the hit and moving him on next summer.
Pete: Davy Klaassen (not because he was bad, but because he was one of 3 AMs brought in at once).
Calvin: This is embarrassing because we have so many candidates here, my personal (anti-) favourite is Antolin Alcaraz. Honestly, we could have taken a broken plastic seat from the Gwladys Street end and placed in on the ground just outside the 18-yard box and it would have done better than he did.
Best Manager of the Decade
Chris: Roberto Martinez - Given that David Moyes’ tenure ended shortly after the decade started, the answer is clearly Bobby Brown Shoes. Misunderstood and perhaps now underappreciated, Everton haven’t played football as pleasing as his since he was sacked. Martinez took the club to European knockout rounds and had a 5th place league finish. Easy choice.
Brian F: Martinez
Patrick: David Moyes - Did some great things with what was handed to him (which wasn’t a lot), but tarnished a bit by the way in which his time with the club ended.
Matthew: David Moyes - because three out of the other four were sacked and the other looks to also lose his job any day now. Finished 8th, 7th, 7th and 6th in the 2010s; a solid if unspectacular return, and hard to argue any of the others beat him. I’d rather forget about all of them, though, to be honest.
Pete: Roberto Martinez (13-14).
Calvin: While I did enjoy how the Blues ended the last season, I will avoid the recency bias and go with Pete above, Bobby’s first season at Goodison was absolutely exhilarating.
Worst Manager of the Decade
Chris: Sam Allardyce - Arrogant, rude, and with no understanding of the club he helmed, I’d rather just forget all about him.
Brian F: Silva
Patrick: Ronald Koeman - It all went downhill after qualifying for the Europa League in his first season with the club; no Lukaku replacement and horrendous use of funds hurt us immensely.
Matthew: Marco Silva - has had the most money to spend, one of the better squads of the decade to manage and has delivered the worst results. Martinez achieved a record points total, and failed on a fraction of Silva’s budget (and still had Everton higher in the league then than Silva does now), while Koeman enjoyed a better first season than Silva and then had that awful run of fixtures in the second year compared to Silva’s far kinder schedule this term. Allardyce’s reign was horrid and forgettable but he at least did the job he was asked to do. A shame because, last season, there seemed fleeting signs of real promise under Silva.
Pete: Roberto Martinez (14-16).
Calvin: Given our utter lack of success I’ll just judge our managers by how well they ‘got’ the club, and on that basis Allardyce and Koeman simply never belonged here. Koeman used us as a stepping stone, while Allardyce was looking for his last big payday.
Best Moment of the Decade
Chris: Jagielka stunner at Anfield - a bolt from the blue, as Peter Drury eloquently called it, Everton fans haven’t really experienced such a level of pure joy and wonder since.
Brian F: Jags equalizer vs Liverpool
Patrick: Everton defeating Manchester United 1-0 in 2013 to mark the Blues’ first win at Old Trafford in nearly 20 years. What a season that was (Ric Wee just misses the top spot).
Matthew: Honestly, when it ends. That’s how little we’ve had to shout about. We’re scraping the barrel a little, but on a personal level, the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea was fantastic to be at, as was the AFC Bournemouth game when Oumar Niasse scored those late two goals and the celebrations left bruises on my legs for about a week. Also the Leicester City match last season when Sigurdsson (credit where it’s due) scored that wonderful late winner, or the several Goodison wins over Manchester United (and the one at Old Trafford).
Pete: Everton 3-0 Arsenal 13/14.
Calvin: Everton 4-0 Manchester City (2016-17 season). It’s not often you beat a Pep Guardiola team, and even less often by such a comprehensive scoreline.