The day after Everton blew a two-goal lead to Newcastle in less time than it takes Tim Howard to brush his hair, a twitter thread by Everton supporter (and Social Media Producer for BT Sport) Matt Desai appeared that perfectly encapsulated a season that can only be described as odd, even by Everton standards.
Even though it’s been less than a season since Jordan Pickford helped secure another Merseyside derby defeat with some interesting goal keeping, that fiasco seems as if it happened decades ago with the course of events that have taken place since the current season kicked off in August.
In this thread, the author identifies the 13 most mystifying, dumbfounding and cursed events to hit Everton this season. From injuries to losses, there has been plenty for Everton fans to be arsed about.
So I reached out to Matt and asked if I could expand on his post and rearrange them.
Instead of viewing these most-Everton of moments in their chronological order, I thought it would be fun to rank each of the incidents.
Rank them on what you say?
I am going to rank these incidents from 1-13 based on a combination of each incidents long-term and short-term impacts they have or will have on the club,respectively.
What do long-term and short-term mean to me?
Long-term impacts include: forcing the club to seek out replacement players due to injury/sale, having direct causation to the removal of a manager, a long-term injury that impacts the team’s ability to perform at the highest level, lingering impact of harsh losses on the team’s psychology or anything else I feel like including.
Short-term impacts include: preventing the team from making a noticeable move up the table, an injury that forces the manager to temporarily adjust playing style/personnel, on-field mistakes that impact immediate performance, VAR decisions that turn the course of a match, or any other incident that has an immediate impact on team performance. Also, anything I feel like.
Each incident will be ranked on a scale of 1-10 in both short and long-term impacts, with a possible high score of 20.
**Disclaimer: this system is entirely made up. All complaints should be communicated via AIM @rbnomersey17654**
So now that we all know how this operates, let’s get to it!
Editor’s Note: All the best gifs in this post are probably being blocked by your newsreader, so click through here to read this in all its necessary glory.
13. Oumar Niasse Plays
12. With Richarlison injured and Tosun out on loan, Oumar Niasse somehow finds himself as a viable option for Everton again, playing 16 minutes at the London Stadium. The forward has scored 12 league goals since joining four years ago. Four of them were for Hull. pic.twitter.com/640RF8SRV5— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 1/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 2/10
IMPACT SCORE: 3/20
What a story huh?
Signed as Roberto Martinez’s savior.
Outcast by Ronald Koeman.
Is Koeman’s savior (sort of).
Becomes a damning indictment of Everton’s transfer policy by refusing loans.
Gets playing time.
I am not someone who hates on Oumar, though if he is outright refusing to transfer I supposed I’m a bit annoyed, but you reap what you sow.
For the sake of this comparison, Oumar getting playing time doesn’t have the greatest impact.
In the short-term it’s obvious he isn’t preventing any up-and coming striker from playing, as Moise Kean and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are both well ahead of Niasse in the pecking order, so that impact is only 1/10.
In the long-term Niasse’s playing time has the chance to a little more impactful. By getting him on the pitch and showing he is still a functioning soccer player Niasse just MIGHT get some team to come bid for him so the club can recoup some of the £13 million they sunk into the former Russian Premier League starlet.
For that Niasse’s playing time earns a 3/10 long-term impact.
However, before we move on, I just want to share some of my favorite Niasse-related content I’ve created over the years.
It’s been a fun ride Oumar.
Oumar got you a little confused today? Us too. pic.twitter.com/d6HLwrIttp— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 24, 2017
When your video gets 18 thousand views and 14 likes:
12. Moise Kean: A Sub’s Sub
7. Duncan Ferguson is placed in temporary charge of the Blues. With his side 1-0 up at Man Utd, he brings on summer signing Moise Kean on 70 minutes. Soon after, Everton concede, and Kean is hooked 18 minutes after coming on. Ferguson claims he needed to make a substitute. pic.twitter.com/yHuUm4GvOY— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 3/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 1/10
IMPACT SCORE: 4/20
If I would have done these rankings prior to the Newcastle match I might have bumped this incident a little further up the list, but Kean’s performance this past weekend (the result notwithstanding) has put to rest a lot of fears that the Italian youngster might take longer than anticipated to have an impact on the side.
However, we can’t forget the furor that Duncan Ferguson’s slight caused. While the manager said the entire thing was motivated by a desire to waste time, it’s almost inconceivable that Ferguson didn’t understand the repercussions of his actions.
In the short-term, this situation DID brighten the immediate spotlight/pressure that Kean was under (and one which he handled wonderfully), especially since he had not found the back of the net, which is why he earned 3/10 for short-term impact.
In the long-term, Kean’s breakout performance has dissuaded even the most reactionary fans from throwing the youngster on the heap with Niasse, and now it is up to the youngster to establish consistency. That’s why it’s the long-term impact is only 1/10.
Whatever happens though, credit to Kean for moving on and not letting an embarrassing situation undermine his growth and prevent him from taking advantage of his opportunities despite whatever the mainstream media decided to make of it.
11. Cenk Tosun finds the net (and his hair)
11. Everton loan Turkish try-hard Cenk Tosun to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season. In his first start, Tosun scores to put the Eagles 1-0 up against Man City. Exactly one minute later, Everton go 1-0 down at West Ham. pic.twitter.com/AYdi2NcXWV— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 2/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 3/10
IMPACT SCORE: 5/20
Oh Cenk Tosun.
When he was signed by Ronald Koeman in 2018 there was hope the Turkish striker would ride the wave of confidence from his stellar Besiktas form leading to his transfer and hit the ground running with the Blues.
I am not someone who claims I knew Tosun wouldn’t work out from the start, as I tend to be optimistic about everyone we bring in, however I DID write this in the same window we signed Tosun in 2018.
Teams that are aiming to win something are forced to overpay by intelligent feeder teams to fill their needs, while teams on the downward spiral seek to unload assets before their value bottoms out completely when relegation becomes a reality.
Luckily for the Toffees they are in neither camp and can enter the market seeking to fill needs, but not in any sort of rush that will force them into a bad buy.
They can do that on their own.
And they did.
It was so bad, in fact, that even Sam Allardyce couldn’t get a tune out of Tosun.
So what’s the impact of Tosun getting loaned to Crystal Palace and scoring for them?
Well in the short-term, not much at all. If anything his goal does keep him on the field and with the chance to drive up his value when he is inevitably sold. Speaking of which....
In the long-term this goal has much greater implications.
If the Tosun can catch fire and establish himself as a legitimate striking option in the Premier League, Everton will be able to get even more in return and recoup as much of the £25 million they spent on him.
So with that in mind, go Cenk!
Oh, and Cenk, please just accept the reality of nature.
10. Losing the Lead at Leicester
5. Everton put in a dogged display and look good to secure a hard-earned win at high-flyers Leicester. Kelechi Iheanacho comes off the bench with 25 minutes to go for his first appearance of the season. He assists one, then scores himself in the 94th minute, as the Foxes win 2-1. pic.twitter.com/9ehCYnmScc— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 4/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 2/10
IMPACT SCORE: 6/20
Part Two of a sad trilogy in matches this season that ultimately led to Marco SIlva’s dismissal (Part I coming up later), the loss to Leicester City was one of the many heart-breaking last-minute snafus the Toffees have suffered this season.
Finding yet another inventive way to lose, the Toffees looked poised for victory after an hour of play. The defense was stout and preventing the Foxes from getting many good looks at goal when Leicester subbed in former Manchester City starlet Kelechi Iheanacho in the 65th minute for his first run out of the season after nursing an injury to start the campaign.
It was all downhill from there.
First, Iheanacho assisted on a Jamie Vardy goal that leveled the score and got the Toffees fans into a “Here We Go Again” attitude that seemed to possibly be premature as the clock ticked down and it appeared the Toffees would earn a hard-fought point on the road at a surging Leicester side.
Then Everton happened.
In the 94th minute Tom Davies inexplicably gave away the ball in midfield, and Iheanacho was slid in on goal and finished neatly into the corner, sending the King Power into a frenzy and Everton fans into the ever-more-familiar “Everton-that” refrain.
BUT WAIT! THERE WAS A SAVIOR!
The linesman threw up his flag and anointed Inheanacho offside, and bringing a collective sigh of relief among Everton fans.
Then VAR happened.
And because we are Everton, the video game lines on the field did their thing and overruled the linesman, giving the Foxes the goal and all three points.
(Forgot how much that hurt.)
Of course it was one of the infamous toe-nail length in difference offside calls that has defined the Premier League implementation of VAR, and of course it wasn’t the only time this season VAR has had it’s way with Everton. (More on that later).
As for the impact of this loss, it was far more short-term than long-term.
This loss led right into the 5-2 drubbing in the Merseyside Derby that cost Marco Silva his job.
Would he have really been fired just two matches after beating Leicester?
Would the team have had the confidence to challenge the Reds instead of capitulating almost immediately after kickoff?
Would Silva still be in charge??
In the long-term,however, this was just another loss in a long line of shocking last-minute defeats that seem to have partially defined the last two seasons.
9. Delph does DMs
10. After the game, many of the poorer performers receive criticism from fans on social media. Fabian Delph, signed in the summer to be an experienced leader, gets into a spat with one fan on Instagram. Manager Carlo Ancelotti says the midfielder made a mistake. pic.twitter.com/jUVQUZ2Y9Q— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 4/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 3/10
IMPACT SCORE: 7/20
When Fabian Delph signed for Everton I thought it would be one of the better signings in recent history.
I envisioned the headlines as:
Proven winner who isn’t completely washed out comes in to provide depth at a position of transition and youth and stabilize the spine of the team.
Over-confident injury-riddled old man yells at teammates and children and refuses to take accountability for his own piss poor performances then gets into fights on social media apps.
So when Fabian Delph took some good old fashioned online banter a little too personally, he decided to GET personal and slid into a fans Instagram DM to let the fan know exactly how he (Delph) felt about his comments.
He then proceeded to embarrass himself even further by insisting that the fan in question would be just another fanboy should they meet in person.
I’m starting to think Delph may lack a little self-awareness.
So what’s the impact??
In the short-term, this incident was another brutal indictment of a team that seriously lacks leadership.
Happening shortly into Carlo Ancelotti’s reign, the Italian would publicly reprimand Delph; the DM’s dust-up clearly showed that the cleanout needed at Goodison is even deeper than some fans imagined while also adjusting the expectations of those who thought Ancelotti would immediately change the players that were already in house.
You can’t teach old, slow dogs new tricks I guess.
In the long-term, the impact is that Delph has lost a lot of goodwill with fans (if he had any). Unable to win them back over on the field, despite countless opportunities, Delph’s stay at Everton may end up being much shorter than anyone thought.
Just another midfielder to add to the list to replace.
8. Norwich Bollocks
4. After showings signs of resurgence in their previous two games, Everton are beaten 2-0 at home to bottom side Norwich, who claim their first away points since August. Goalscorer Dennis Srbeny is sold six weeks later, after netting only once for the Canaries. pic.twitter.com/jF1xqSuSTT— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 5/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 3/10
IMPACT SCORE: 8/20
The Toffees were coming off one of the better runs of form the side had seen in a while.
Wins over Watford FC in the Round of 16 League Cup and Southampton in the league sandwiched around a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur (the day Andre went down) left the Blues feeling good heading into a home match-up with a Norwich City side that sat at the foot of the table and were in a complete downward spiral.
So you know what happened.
They dominated early, couldn’t find a goal, got countered, lost confidence, over-extended and gave up a game-ending second goal.
Part 1 of the Trilogy of Sadness, this loss began the three-game series (the aforementioned Leicester collapse and 5-2 Mersesyide Mugging being the other two) that ultimately cost Marco Silva his job.
A heartless pitiful performance in front of the home crowd, this 2-0 loss seems to have been when fans finally lost faith that Silva had answers, and it became almost impossible to offer a counter-argument.
Of course the fact that Norwich used Dennis Srbeny’s goal to flip him for a profit just adds salt to the wound that was this loss. Is anyone surprised we didn’t do a Nikola Vlasic and buy Srbeny?
As for the impact, the short-term is obvious as this loss began the demise of Silva’s tenure and the fans connections with this team to a degree.
In the long-term this was perhaps the first domino to fall in a series of events that would lead to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
7. Another Derby Disaster
9. The Toffees draw top-of-the-table Liverpool in the FA Cup third round. The Reds have a congested fixture list so field a weakened, almost unrecognisable, team for the match. Everton miss several glorious first-half chances before losing 1-0. pic.twitter.com/tUtl0qIR4o— Matt Desai (@MatthewDesai) January 22, 2020
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: 5/10
LONG-TERM IMPACT: 4/10
IMPACT SCORE: 9/20
I know what you are thinking:
HOW CAN THIS NOT BE HIGHER??!?!?
First, to briefly recap:
- Everton draw Liverpool at Anfield in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup.
- Liverpool get overextended and take their starters to the Club World Cup.
- Reds field a mostly-youth side
- Everton field their best team, injuries notwithstanding
- Blues waste chances, Reds win on a worldie
I mean it’s not too complicated.
Mason Holgate should have scored early, as should have Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Of course they didn’t and an obviously initially overwhelmed young Reds side grew into the match before dispatching the Blues with a wonder-striker from one of the replacement players used.
The thing about it was, fans were upset, but we almost KNEW it was going to happen. They baited us in with their weakened side, but those of us who had seen this Blues team make collapsing as regular a practice as stretching this loss was hysterically predictable.
Sure, would it have ended the drought at Anfield, but no matter what anyone says it would have had an asterisk next to it and it wouldn’t have been as fulfilling as beating their actual team.
Instead, Blues fans were treated to anther cowardly performance that only served to highlight the incalculable gap in progress between the two Merseyside squads.
While Liverpool are debating whether or not they can go undefeated for a season, Everton fans long for the days of consistency across a string of games, instead of the sputtering version of a once-proud side the last few years have produced.
As for the impact of this beyond disappointing loss?
Well in the short-term it knocked the Toffees out of the FA Cup, the reality is that there is no way this side were ever going to navigate themselves through the rest of the competition.
(See: lack of consistency).
It also did take some more air out of an already disheartening season, but after the way things had progressed only the most out-of-touch fan would have expected a complete change in fortunes in such a short-time after appointing Carlo Ancelotti.
In the long-term this match, by Ancelotti’s own admission, was an introduction to the mental weakness that seems to have invaded the body and mind of any player who puts on the Blue kit. This loss let Carlo know that the work ahead was both challenging and all-encompassing.
We can only hope he figures it out!
COME BACK MONDAY AS WE FINISH THE COUNTDOWN ALL THE WAY TO #1!!