Tag Archives: Everton

Premier League Rewind: 24th-26th November 2017

Results: West Ham United 1-1 Leicester City, Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City, Manchester United 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United 0-3 Watford, Swansea City 0-0 AFC Bournemouth, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool FC 1-1 Chelsea, Southampton 4-1 Everton, Burnley 0-1 Arsenal, Huddersfield Town 1-2 Manchester City

By the end of November 2017, Manchester City were looking absolutely unstoppable. Eight points clear at the start of the weekend, that figure remained intact for Pep Guardiola’s men but only after they survived a major scare away at Huddersfield Town.

A month earlier, Huddersfield had defeated Manchester United at The John Smith’s Stadium and for a few moments, it looked like a shock double was on the cards when Nicolas Otamendi headed the ball into his own net on the stroke of half-time. Sergio Aguero did quickly equalise in the second half via the penalty spot but it looked like the points would be shared until six minutes from full-time. Through a bit of fortune and persistence, Raheem Sterling scored the winning goal to extend City’s winning run in the Premier League to 11 games.

24 hours earlier, Manchester United also required a big slice of fortune to defeat plucky Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at Old Trafford. Ashley Young’s shot deflected off Lewis Dunk and looped over a stranded Mat Ryan in the 66th minute to give the Red Devils three points. It was a weekend where the established elite all generally struggled.

For the second season running, Arsenal needed a stoppage-time goal to claim all three points at Turf Moor against Burnley. In the second minute of stoppage-time, James Tarkowski was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Ramsey in the penalty area. Alexis Sanchez made no mistake from 12-yards out to score the only goal of the game and took Arsenal into the top four, having won four of their last five games.

They replaced north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the top four after Tottenham stumbled to a 1-1 home draw with West Bromwich Albion at Wembley Stadium. West Brom had sacked Tony Pulis earlier in the week and caretaker manager Gary Megson’s side put in a stoic defensive display to earn a hard-fought point. Since beating Liverpool FC 4-1 a month earlier, Tottenham had picked up just four points from four games.

At the wrong end of the table and Everton’s horrific season continued. Despite Gylfi Sigurdsson’s first Premier League goal for the club, the Toffees succumbed to a heavy 4-1 defeat away at Southampton. Charlie Austin scored twice for the home side, as the Saints climbed into 10th spot off the back of this handsome victory. Wayne Rooney was an unused substitute for Everton who sat just two points above the relegation zone and were still without a permanent manager since sacking Ronald Koeman a month earlier.

Crystal Palace recorded a second victory of the season, coming from behind to defeat Stoke City 2-1. Mamadou Sakho scored the winning goal deep into stoppage-time to extend the Eagles’ unbeaten run on home soil to four games and took them to within three points of safety. David Moyes achieved his first point as West Ham United boss as the Hammers drew 1-1 in the Friday Night Football encounter against Leicester City but it wasn’t enough for the home side to escape the bottom three.

What else happened in November 2017?

  • After 37 years of ruling Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe resigns after being placed under house arrest. The military take control of the country.
  • Prince Harry announces his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle.
  • Ratko Mladic is found guilty of genocide committed in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War. He is sentenced to life in prison.
  • Sir Michael Fallon resigns as Defence Secretary following allegations of inappropriate previous behaviour. He is replaced by Gavin Williamson.
  • One of Leonardo da Vinci’s finest works, Salvator Mundi, sells for $450 million at Christie’s in New York. It becomes the new record price for any work of art produced.
  • Ex-Czech tennis player and winner of the women’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1998, Jana Novotna dies after a battle with cancer, aged 49.
  • A huge new leak of documents known as the Paradise Papers is reported, revealing how wealthy and powerful the rich really are with offshore investments. The Queen’s private estate is included with tech giants Apple and Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton also facing tough questions following the leak.
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Great Goals: Wayne Rooney – EVERTON vs. West Ham United (November 2017)

Wayne Rooney finished the 2017-2018 Premier League season as Everton’s top goalscorer. It would turn out to be his only season back with his boyhood club. Unloved by Sam Allardyce, Rooney elected to move on in the summer of 2018 after not receiving assurances over his first-team future by new boss, Marco Silva.

However, he did leave a lasting legacy on the campaign with this astonishing goal at home to West Ham United. It was the final match of David Unsworth’s difficult reign in interim charge but he finished in style, as Everton won 4-0. Rooney scored three of the goals. The strike to complete his hat-trick was a reminder of his world-class abilities at the peak of his powers.

West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart came rushing out of his goal to clear a long ball from the Everton defence. His clearance wasn’t the greatest but Rooney still had so much to do. From well inside his own half, Rooney’s first-time shot flew straight into the back of the empty net, capping a brilliant display with his first-ever hat-trick for Everton.

Hart was dropped by David Moyes after this display. Rooney would score just once more infront of his home supporters before moving to the MLS for a fresh start with DC United.

Iconic Moments: Koeman axed by Everton (October 2017)

After a seventh-place finish in his first season in the hotseat at Goodison Park, expectations were high at Everton for Ronald Koeman to mount a serious challenge for a top-four finish in pre-season. By the end of October, his managerial reputation looked destroyed and his club management career was over – for the time being at least.

Everton were forced to sell star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2017 after the Belgian marksman turned down a new contract. They cashed in on Lukaku and earned £75 million from Manchester United with Wayne Rooney making an emotional return to his boyhood club as part of the deal. However, it became clear that Rooney was a signing for the fans and not really a player Koeman wanted.

There were other big arrivals for hefty sums of money, including Icelandic international Glyfi Sigurdsson, future England no.1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and centre-back Michael Keane from Burnley. However, Lukaku wasn’t replaced and that was a costly decision. Koeman even had to swallow his pride and bring back Oumar Niasse from the doldrums. He did give the Dutchman a priceless victory with two goals off the bench against AFC Bournemouth in September but by then, Koeman was already in big trouble.

Heavy back-to-back defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, coupled with a humiliating display in a UEFA Europa League group stage game in Atalanta put Koeman on the backfoot. Another European defeat at home to Lyon which saw an ugly brawl started by Ashley Williams put him on the verge of the sack when Arsenal visited Merseyside on Sunday 22nd October.

Rooney did give Everton the lead but Arsenal’s dominance in the game was so one-sided. Idrissa Gueye was sent off and only a brilliant display from Pickford stopped the scoreline creeping towards double figures. When Alexis Sanchez scored his first Premier League goal of the season to make the scoreline 5-2, the look on Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s face said it all. Everton finished the evening in the bottom three. Koeman was sacked a day later. He has since become the manager of the Netherlands international team.

The hunt for his successor became messy and eventually, they sacrificed all principles and turned to Sam Allardyce just to steer them away from relegation danger after David Unsworth’s character-building month as interim boss. Allardyce did what was required and guided Everton to comfortable safety with an eighth-place finish but the fans never took to his style of football and he was sacked at the end of the season, replaced by the manager the Everton board always wanted as Koeman’s ultimate successor, Marco Silva.

The 2017-2018 season was a scrappy one for everyone connected with Everton Football Club.

Iconic Moments: Rooney reaches 200 (August 2017)

In the summer of 2017, Wayne Rooney ended his 13-year association with Manchester United, where he’d won five Premier League titles and become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. He returned to his boyhood home, Everton. It was a signing that got fans excited at Goodison Park.

After making the dream return by scoring on his second home debut with a flying header to beat Stoke City on the opening weekend, Rooney had another milestone he was closing in on when he made his first visit back to Manchester.

Everton’s first away match of the season was at The Etihad Stadium and Rooney achieved a Premier League landmark in the 35th minute. From a sweeping counter-attack, Rooney made a late surging run into the box to meet Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass and sweep the ball into the back of the net. It was his 200th Premier League goal, becoming only the second player to achieve the feat after Alan Shearer.

Rooney’s goalscoring tally ended at 208 before waving goodbye to the Premier League in the summer of 2018. He will finish his playing career in the MLS, playing for DC United. He will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever players.

The Managers: Sam Allardyce

Premier League Clubs Managed: Bolton Wanderers (2001-2007), Newcastle United (2007-2008), Blackburn Rovers (2008-2010), West Ham United (2012-2015), Sunderland (2015-2016), Crystal Palace (2016-2017), Everton (2017-2018)

Sam Allardyce is one of the great survivors of the Premier League. He is often one of the first bosses that worried owners turn to when their club look to be flirting dangerously with the depths of a relegation battle. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was the latest in this situation when the Toffees elected to call on his services in November 2017. Everton slipped into the bottom three when they lost 4-1 at Southampton under David Unsworth’s difficult reign as caretaker manager. They were in freefall and needed the expertise of Allardyce to get themselves out of a very sticky situation.

The Merseysiders didn’t have to worry. The football in terms of overall quality was not good but ‘Big Sam’ is one person who doesn’t care about style. The result is vitally more important over substance and that’s why Everton finished in eighth position despite some underwhelming displays. It was another case of mission complete for Allardyce. His reward was the sack 72 hours after the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season!

All this and a successful salvage mission at Crystal Palace has come after his ill-fated short spell as England manager in 2016 which seemed to have put him on the managerial scrapheap.

Over 500 appearances

During a 21-year playing career, Allardyce made 578 league and cup appearances. After spending his youth days at semi-professional level with Dudley Town, he joined Bolton Wanderers in 1969 and spent nine seasons as a player with the Trotters. During his time with them, Bolton were promoted to the First Division in 1978. It was the most productive spell of his playing days.

He spent much of the 1980s on the road, playing for no fewer than eight clubs. This included a brief period playing in the North American Soccer League with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and a second 14-game spell with Bolton Wanderers in the 1985-1986 season. A year later, he won promotion out of the Fourth Division with Preston North End, also earning a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.

Early coaching days

Allardyce was hired as a player-coach by Brian Talbot at West Bromwich Albion in February 1989. He spent the rest of the season managing and occasionally playing for the reserves before being promoted to first-team coaching duties. That role ended in January 1991 when he and Talbot were sacked following the Baggies shock FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Woking.

So, ‘Big Sam’ went to Ireland and despite huge financial pressures, he managed to guide Limerick to promotion into the Irish Premier Division. After a year in Ireland, he returned to English shores, coaching at Preston North End. When manager Les Chapman was sacked 10 games into the campaign, Sam had a stint as caretaker manager but despite promise, he was overlooked for the job permanently by the Preston hierarchy. He left after 18 months at Deepdale, frustrated by being forced to work at youth team level after his taste of first-team management.

His first permanent managerial breakthrough came at Blackpool, who appointed him manager in July 1994. In two seasons at Bloomfield Road, he took them to 12th and 3rd place finishes in the Second Division. After narrowly missing out on promotion in 1996, losing in the play-off semi-finals to Bradford City, Allardyce was sacked by Chairman Owen Oyston. Five years after his departure, he said: “I was stunned but it didn’t put me off football management otherwise I would never have returned. Looking back, Blackpool probably did me a favour.”

In January 1997, he returned to management with Notts County, who were struggling in the lower reaches of Division Two. He arrived too late to save them from relegation but earned them instant promotion as Third Division champions in 1997-1998, becoming the first post-war side to earn promotion from any division in the month of March.

He remained at County until October 1999, resigning to return to Bolton Wanderers.

The spirit of Bolton

Allardyce did inherit a talented squad that had just missed out on promotion the previous season via the play-offs. Among the players at his disposal were Eidur Gudjohnsen, Dean Holdsworth, Claus Jensen and Mark Fish. Despite being in the bottom half when he took over, Bolton did reach the First Division play-offs but came up short at the semi-final hurdle, losing to Ipswich Town over two legs.

There were no such mistakes in 2000-2001. After three years in the First Division wilderness, Bolton returned to the Premier League with a 3-0 play-off final victory over Preston North End. Now, ‘Big Sam’ had his chance in the big time.

It was a remarkable start. Bolton won their first three matches to top the table in August, including a 2-1 victory over Liverpool FC, who had won five trophies in the calendar year of 2001. In October, reigning champions Manchester United were added to the list of scalps and Bolton finished in 16th place and avoided relegation for the first time in their Premier League existence.

It was at this point when Allardyce was able to use his astuteness in the transfer market, bringing in big European names that seemed to be at the twilight of their careers. They included Bruno N’Gotty, Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo and Jay-Jay Okocha. The 2002-2003 Premier League season was a real struggle but some inspirational displays from Okocha, most notably on the final day saw the Trotters just about avoid the drop at the expense of a much-more expensively assembled West Ham United squad.

That was Bolton’s last season of survival struggle. They enjoyed a real purple patch from 2003 to 2007. Allardyce took them to the 2004 League Cup final although they lost 2-1 in the showpiece event to Middlesbrough. They finished in the Premier League’s top 10 in four successive campaigns, including a stunning 6th place finish in 2004-2005 and fans at The Reebok Stadium enjoyed European football for the first time.

All this success led to Allardyce being shortlisted for the England job in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup finals. He was interviewed for the post but lost out to Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren, who was Sven-Goran Eriksson’s assistant at the time. In 2007, Allardyce’s relationship with owner Phil Gartside became strained when he was refused more money to spend on players to make a bigger push for Champions League qualification. With two games left to play in 2006-2007, he resigned and was replaced by his assistant, Sammy Lee.

Victim of the Venky’s

Just two days after the season finished, Allardyce was confirmed as Newcastle United manager but it turned out to be an unhappy eight months on Tyneside. When he got the contract to manage the team, Freddie Shepherd was chairman but he was soon replaced at the helm by Mike Ashley.

Not the owner’s man, he was on a hiding to nothing and parted company in January 2008 after a disappointing run of results which included a Boxing Day defeat to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic and collecting just one point from a possible six against hapless Derby County.

After 11 months on the sidelines, Sam returned to the dugout in December 2008 as the new manager of Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn were second-bottom and had lost five games on the bounce before his arrival. They went nine games unbeaten immediately on his arrival and guided them to safety in 15th position.

Despite being forced to sell Stephen Warnock and Roque Santa Cruz in the summer 2009 transfer window, Allardyce managed to balance the books and took Blackburn to a 10th place finish in 2009-2010 and a League Cup semi-final, where they lost 7-4 on aggregate to Aston Villa. Owner John Williams put the club up for sale in the summer of 2010 and four months into the 2010-2011 campaign, Blackburn became the first Premier League club to come under Indian ownership when the Venky’s took control.

Although Blackburn were sitting in a fairly secure 13th place in December 2010, he was sacked by the owners 24 hours after a late 2-1 defeat in the Lancashire Derby to his former club, Bolton Wanderers. His departure surprised many, including his great friend, Sir Alex Ferguson. One of Allardyce’s coaches, Steve Kean took over but Blackburn went down in May 2012 and haven’t been back in the Premier League since.

Revitalising West Ham

In June 2011, he was given the task of revitalising West Ham United, who had just been relegated from the Premier League. During the course of his first full season at Upton Park, 25 players left and 19 others arrived. It was mission accomplished as West Ham returned to the top-flight after just one season away, defeating Blackpool 2-1 in the play-off final.

Another 11 players arrived in the summer of 2012 including the likes of Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll and James Collins. West Ham finished in a solid 10th place in 2012-2013 and at the end of the season; he extended his contract by a further two years.

The 2013-2014 season was much tougher and after back-to-back heavy defeats in cup ties in January 2014 at the hands of Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, ‘Big Sam’ received the dreaded vote of confidence from owners David Gold and David Sullivan, who vowed to stick by him despite growing fan pressure. Their loyalty was rewarded when Allardyce won the Manager of the Month award for February 2014 after steering the Hammers to four successive victories. They eventually finished in an uninspiring but safe 13th.

Teddy Sheringham was bought in as an attacking coach in 2014-2015 in an attempt to satisfy annoyed fans and try to give West Ham a more attacking feel to their play. It worked early on and the Londoners sat in fourth place on Christmas Day. However, they fell away dramatically in the second half of the campaign, fading to 12th place. Moments after the final whistle blew on West Ham’s campaign at St James’ Park, it was confirmed his contract would not be renewed by the board. The decision was amicable with Sam deciding to take a break from management.

That pause wouldn’t last long though…

Saving Sunderland…then the England call

In October 2015, he answered the call to help out Sunderland. The Black Cats were second-bottom and without a win from their first eight games. Dick Advocaat had resigned and it was up to Allardyce to keep the survival specialists afloat again in the Premier League.

Although there was an early Tyne & Wear Derby victory, results didn’t come in the early months and going into 2016, Sunderland were seven points off safety and second-bottom. He then made some astute signings in January, bringing in Jan Kirchhoff and Lamine Kone to shore up the backline and adding some creative spark with the addition of Wahbi Khazri.

On 16th April, Sunderland recorded a priceless 3-0 away win at Carrow Road against relegation rivals Norwich City which put survival in their hands. Back-to-back home  victories over Chelsea and Everton in the last eight days of the season secured another Great Escape for Sunderland.

Then, the call came to manage his country, 10 years after his near-miss with the role. England was his biggest challenge. It was an appointment that lasted just 67 days and one match. Adam Lallana scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory in a World Cup 2018 qualification match against Slovakia. It left him with a 100% win ratio but not a record he wants to remember.

In September 2016, The Daily Telegraph began an investigation into bribery within the game, posting a series of allegations about several senior figures. One was a video where reporters posing as businessmen filmed Allardyce allegedly offering to give advice on how to get around on FA rules on player third-party ownership. With searing public pressure growing, he parted company with the FA via mutual consent just over two months after landing his dream role. It looked like his managerial career was in tatters.

Salvation with Palace

He was back though in the Premier League dugout just three months later when Crystal Palace turned to him after firing Alan Pardew. He guided them to survival on the penultimate weekend as they defeated Hull City 4-0, consigning them to relegation in the process. Again, his signings were smart with title-winner Jeff Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic among the January arrivals. There were victories in the run-in too over Arsenal, eventual champions Chelsea and Liverpool FC.

He resigned in May 2017 and hinted that the job he’d completed at Selhurst Park would be his last club position. However, he was back for his seventh spell at a Premier League side in November, signing a two-year contract to become Everton manager. Victory in Unsworth’s final match as interim boss meant he took over with the club sitting 13th but just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone. He guided them to a seven-match unbeaten run, taking them away from danger.

Despite a horrific away record, Goodison Park became a tougher place for sides to come with just the two Manchester clubs winning on Merseyside after his arrival at the club. Everton finished in eighth place and he had been hoping to build or even match his best-ever top-flight finish with the Toffees in 2018-2019 before being dismissed on 16th May 2018.

If there’s a great survivor of the management game in today’s industry, look no further than Sam Allardyce. Don’t be surprised to see him back in the dugout at a club who need a saviour next season.

Shock Results: Everton 2-0 Liverpool FC (November 1994)

Goalscorers: Duncan Ferguson 57, Paul Rideout 89

Teams:

Everton: Neville Southall, Gary Ablett, Andy Hinchcliffe, Matt Jackson (Paul Rideout 45), David Unsworth, Dave Watson, Barry Horne, John Ebbrell, Joe Parkinson, Daniel Amokachi (Anders Limpar 77), Duncan Ferguson

Liverpool FC: David James, Phil Babb, Stig Inge Bjornebye (Jamie Redknapp 63), Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock, John Scales, Jan Molby, John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush

Referee: Dermot Gallagher, Attendance: 39,866

In November 1994, Everton were in big trouble. They were bottom of the Premier League with just one victory to their name from 16 outings. Mike Walker had been sacked in early November and replaced by former goalscoring legend Joe Royle. He had a major task on his hands.

By contrast, Liverpool FC went into the 151st Merseyside Derby in peak form. Roy Evans’ side had lost just three times all season and were sitting comfortably inside the top five. They also had enjoyed the better of this fixture in recent times, winning 20 of the previous 42 encounters with the Toffees.

As is usually the case with this fixture, there was a frenetic approach to it from both sides. Liverpool dominated possession throughout the first half but had little to show for this territory. Neville Southall was experiencing a quiet evening as Everton looked to build on recent clean sheets achieved in Walker’s final games as the club’s manager against West Ham United and Norwich City.

At half-time, Matt Jackson was forced off by injury. Rather than make a like-for-like change, Royle sensed the opportunity was there for the blue half of Merseyside to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Paul Rideout was sent on to join the power of Daniel Amokachi and Duncan Ferguson upfront for the second half.

There was an immediate response to the positive change from the manager. Amokachi’s deflected shot needed saving from James but from the resultant corner just before the hour mark, Everton took the lead. Andy Hinchcliffe delivered an in-swinging corner into the danger area. Goalkeeper James came into the crowd but never looked like taking control of the situation. He was beaten to the ball by Ferguson whose towering header found the back of the net for his first Everton goal since joining on-loan from Scottish powerhouses Rangers.

Although Liverpool had a more pressurized spell after the goal, forwards Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush got short change out of Dave Watson and David Unsworth all evening. Rideout hit the post before the visitors were sunk by more aerial prowess from Ferguson in the 89th minute. Hinchcliffe floated in another deep delivery. Again, Ferguson got the better of James in the air and via a deflection, the ball fell perfectly for Rideout to slot the ball into the empty net and seal a wonderful victory on opening night for Royle.

The win took Everton off the bottom of the table and they wouldn’t return there either. They rallied to finish 15th despite not being officially safe until five days before the season concluded. The silver lining to the season was victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final with Rideout scoring the winner. Liverpool’s form tailed off slightly after this defeat but they still finished fourth in the final standings and also claimed silverware, beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 to win the League Cup.

Premier League Rewind: 6th-7th May 1994

Results: Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool FC, Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town, Chelsea 3-2 Sheffield United, Everton 3-2 Wimbledon, Newcastle United 2-0 Arsenal, Norwich City 1-1 Oldham Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Manchester City, Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United 3-3 Southampton, Manchester United 0-0 Coventry City

With Manchester United having been crowned Premier League champions for the second successive season four days earlier, all the drama on the final weekend of the 1993-1994 season was at the bottom of the table. Swindon Town were already relegated but there were still two relegation spots to be filled.

With an inferior goal difference to their rivals, Oldham Athletic needed a minor miracle. They had run out of steam at the wrong point in the season. Incredibly, their final match of the season against Norwich City was their sixth game in just 14 days! The Latics could certainly complain about the fixture backlog and their FA Cup semi-final agony at the hands of Manchester United had affected them mentally too. They had to win by at least three clear goals and hope results went their way. Sean McCarthy did give them a 13th minute lead but there would be no great escape this time around. Rob Ullathorne’s equaliser 17 minutes from full-time ensured the points were shared in a 1-1 draw and confirmed Oldham’s drop to Division One.

Oldham were down but there was one spot up for grabs and it was between Everton, Ipswich Town, Southampton and Sheffield United. Everton’s season had been a nightmare. Having topped the table after three matches, they had seen Howard Kendall quit in December and highly-rated Mike Walker unable to stop the slide. Only a win against in-form Wimbledon would give them a chance of beating the drop. It looked hopeless after just 20 minutes. A Dean Holdsworth penalty and Gary Ablett’s unfortunate own goal had Wimbledon 2-0 ahead. With the Dons unbeaten in nine matches, Everton’s fate looked to be sealed. However, divine inspiration came in the form of Graham Stuart. His penalty in the 24th minute gave the home side some hope after Anders Limpar’s ‘dive’ won the spot-kick. Barry Horne scored a belter to level the scores and then, with nine minutes left, Stuart’s second of the afternoon somehow eluded the grasp of Hans Segers. Everton were infront and held on for a 3-2 victory. A pitch invasion at the full-time whistle confirmed they had survived but only just.

Everton’s comeback meant Ipswich Town were very vulnerable. Having been 12th in the table after beating Aston Villa on 12th Match, the Tractor Boys had collected just two points from their next nine matches. They had a testing trip to Blackburn Rovers who were already guaranteed the runners-up position. Blackburn had the better of the chances but couldn’t find a way through. The match ended goalless. However, that would have sent them down if scores remained the same in the two games based in London involving Southampton and Sheffield United.

For the second successive season, Matt Le Tissier produced some magic on the final day. His two goals helped Southampton to a pulsating 3-3 draw at Upton Park with West Ham United, despite Ken Monkou’s late own goal costing them three points. The Saints were safe. It looked like Sheffield United would also be celebrating safety. They led twice at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea and going into stoppage-time, a 2-2 scoreline was good enough for the Blades. Then, Mark Stein snatched a late winner for Chelsea and results elsewhere meant it was Dave Bassett’s club who were relegated in devastating circumstances. It had been an afternoon full of contrasting emotions.

Elsewhere, Leeds United’s 5-0 victory away at Swindon Town meant the Premier League debutants became the first and so far, only side to concede 100 goals in a top-flight season since 1992. Aston Villa’s 2-1 success at home to Liverpool FC ensured their pipped Midlands rivals Coventry City to a top 10 finish. The Sky Blues might have lost that battle with the Villans but still earned a creditable 0-0 draw at Old Trafford in the final match of an exciting weekend.

What else happened in May 1994?

  • In joyous scenes across the country, Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
  • UK politics is suspended after the sudden death of the Labour leader John Smith. He suffered a massive heart attack on 12th May and dies aged 55.
  • Three-time world Formula One champion Ayrton Senna is killed in an accident whilst leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. He was just 34-years-old.
  • The Channel Tunnel, which can get people between Britain and France in 35 minutes, is open to the public for the first time.
  • In late May, Scottish group Wet Wet Wet reach no.1 with Love Is All Around. It will spend 15 consecutive weeks on top of the UK music charts.
  • The film Four Weddings and a Funeral is released in the UK.
  • Malawi holds its first multiparty elections.

Great Goals: Matt Taylor – PORTSMOUTH vs. Everton (December 2006)

Matt Taylor was one of those players who could score simply breathtaking goals in any season. After his amazing long-distance effort a season earlier at The Stadium of Light against Sunderland, he produced another sizzling strike from distance at home to Everton in December 2006.

In the 13th minute, the ball popped up to the midfielder from at least 45-yards away from goal. There’s no thought in Taylor’s mind. He went for goal and his spectacular attempt left Tim Howard completely stranded. It came in a period where he was scoring goals for fun as Portsmouth won the game 2-0.

Premier League Rewind: 8th-10th April 2017

Results: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Watford, Manchester City 3-1 Hull City, Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley, Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool FC, West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton, West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City, AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea, Sunderland 0-3 Manchester United, Everton 4-2 Leicester City, Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal

The 2016-2017 Premier League season had been dominated by Chelsea for the majority of the campaign. Antonio Conte’s side came into this round of games still seven points clear of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, despite a recent slip-up at home to Crystal Palace.

The Blues knew that Tottenham would continue to crank up the pressure and for a while, Mauricio Pochettino’s side could close to within four points of the table-toppers as they kicked-off on 8th April earlier than Chelsea. They comfortably dismissed Watford 4-0 at White Hart Lane, despite missing the injured Harry Kane. Dele Alli scored the pick of the goals and Heung-Min Son continued to show his growing importance with two goals.

That was Spurs’ sixth successive victory but once again, Chelsea found a response. They dispatched AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at The Vitality Stadium in the teatime kick-off to go seven points clear again with just seven games left to play. Marcos Alonso’s sublime free-kick put the game beyond the home side.

Despite having played more games than both Manchester clubs, Liverpool FC had the points on the board and consolidated third spot with a hard-fought 2-1 success away at Stoke City. Jon Walters had put the home side into the lead with his customary goal against Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp needed two superb saves from Simon Mignolet to keep his side in the contest. Then, quick-fire strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino turned the game completely around. Since losing to Leicester in late February, Liverpool were now unbeaten in six games, winning four of these matches.

Both Manchester clubs recorded expected victories. Manchester City beat Hull City 3-1, who were relying solely on their home form to try and keep them in the Premier League. A day later, Manchester United cruised past a sorry Sunderland side 3-0 at The Stadium of Light. We didn’t know it at the time but this would turn out to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s final-ever Premier League goal. The Swede picked up a serious knee injury in a UEFA Europa tie against Anderlecht less than two weeks later and wouldn’t score again at this level before moving to the LA Galaxy in April 2018.

Sunderland were looking doomed but Crystal Palace were going in the right direction. Sam Allardyce’s side had now won four of their last five games and were six points clear of the bottom three after a fabulous and well-deserved 3-0 victory over a lifeless Arsenal. The Gunners put in one of their most insipid displays of recent times, leading to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher calling them “cowards.” Their top-four chances were hanging by a thread.

Elsewhere, Craig Shakespeare tasted defeat for the first time as Leicester City interim boss. The reigning champions lost 4-2 in an exciting clash at Everton, who had drawn level on points with Arsenal, despite having played two games more.

Swansea’s 1-0 defeat to West Ham United at The London Stadium saw them remain in the bottom three and without a win in five matches. That win ended a four-game losing run that the Hammers had endured and effectively guaranteed Premier League football in their new home for another season. It was also looking bleak for Middlesbrough who drew 0-0 with Burnley and were still without a win for caretaker boss Steve Agnew, who had succeeded Aitor Karanka a month earlier. Boro were now six points adrift of safety and had scored just 22 goals in 31 matches.

What else happened in April 2017?

  • Prime Minister Theresa May catches everyone by surprise and calls a snap general election for Thursday 8th June.
  • A hijacked lorry is deliberately driven into crowds in Stockholm. Five people are killed, including one British national.
  • In boxing, Anthony Joshua beats Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium to become WBA World Heavyweight Champion.
  • Former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough centre-back Ugo Ehiogu suffers a cardiac arrest at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground. He dies a day later, aged just 44.
  • According to the National Grid, Britain goes a full day without using coal power (21st April) to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.
  • TV actor and author Tim Piggott-Smith, who won a BAFTA for Best Actor in 1985, dies aged 70 in Northamptonshire from natural causes.
  • John Middleton makes his final appearance on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale after 21 years. His character Ashley Thomas dies after being diagnosed with incurable pneumonia.

Memorable Matches: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Everton (November 2015)

Goalscorers: Ramiro Funes Mori 25, Romelu Lukaku 36, Adam Smith 80, Junior Stanislas 87, 90+8, Ross Barkley 90+6

Teams:

AFC Bournemouth: Adam Federici (Ryan Allsop 45), Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook (Adam Smith 45), Sylvain Distin, Simon Francis, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter (Glenn Murray 76), Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King

Everton: Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, Brendan Galloway, Ramiro Funes Mori, John Stones, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy (Tom Cleverley 68), Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu (Aaron Lennon 86), Arouna Kone (Darron Gibson 90), Romelu Lukaku

Referee: Kevin Friend, Attendance: 11,228

This was AFC Bournemouth’s debut season in the Premier League and manager Eddie Howe’s demand to play attractive football meant the supporters were going to be in for plenty of thrills and spills. They played Everton in November 2015 in what turned out to be an astonishing match.

Everton went into the game in great goalscoring form, having scored 11 goals in their last three league encounters and they did a lot of the early pressing. Adam Federici had to deny forwards Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku twice before the visitors took the lead on 25 minutes. Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori headed home into the roof of the net from a corner. It was 2-0 nine minutes later. Gerard Deulofeu found Lukaku who demonstrated his power to hold off Steve Cook’s advances, before driving in a shot past Federici’s near post. It was his 10th goal of the Premier League season – matching his tally from the previous campaign.

Bournemouth looked in trouble and were forced into two half-time changes, most notably in-goal where Ryan Allsop came on for his Premier League debut after injury forced Federici off. They rallied in the second half with Charlie Daniels testing Tim Howard’s reflexes before Adam Smith set-up a grandstand final 10 minutes.

Everton failed to properly clear a corner and from 25-yards out, the full-back tried his luck and fired a shot into the top corner for only his second-ever goal for Bournemouth. He was given the space and properly punished Everton who were getting lax with the comfortable advantage they held. With three minutes left, it looked like the Cherries had rescued an improbable point. Josh King drove down the right-hand side, exposing youngster Brendan Galloway and he squared the ball back for Junior Stanislas to fire in the equaliser. Bournemouth had shown tremendous spirit but there was still time for more late drama.

Five minutes of stoppage-time were signalled by the fourth official and with what looked like being the last attack of the match, Everton regained their lead. Kone and Seamus Coleman were involved in the build-up and despite a good challenge to deny the Republic of Ireland international from ex-Everton defender Sylvain Distin, Ross Barkley was in the right place and his shot crept past the youngster Alsop’s defences at the near post.

However, there was incredibly more time added on by referee Kevin Friend and in the eighth minute of stoppage-time, Smith found Daniels in space on the left-hand side. The left-back delivered an inch-perfect cross and Stanislas connected perfectly with a flying header which gave Howard no chance. This concluded an extraordinary finish to one of the best matches of the 2015-2016 season.

The Clubs: Everton

All data correct upto 16th April 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
996 360 286 350 1298 1261 +37 1366 26

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Tim Howard 354
Leon Osman 352
Leighton Baines 330
Phil Jagielka 311
David Unsworth 302
Tony Hibbert 265
Phil Neville 242
Duncan Ferguson 239
David Weir 235
Tim Cahill 226

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Romelu Lukaku 68
Duncan Ferguson 60
Tim Cahill 56
Kevin Campbell 45
Leon Osman 44
David Unsworth 33
Leighton Baines 29
Kevin Mirallas 29
Paul Rideout 29
Tony Cottee 28

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Everton 7-1 Southampton 16th November 1996 1996-1997
Everton 7-1 Sunderland 24th November 2007 2007-2008
Everton 6-0 West Ham United 8th May 1999 1998-1999
Everton 5-0 Middlesbrough 17th February 1999 1998-1999
Everton 5-0 Sunderland 26th December 1999 1999-2000
Everton 5-0 West Ham United 29th September 2001 2001-2002
Everton 6-2 Swindon Town 15th January 1994 1993-1994
Everton 6-2 Sunderland 1st November 2015 2015-2016
Everton 5-1 Hull City 7th March 2010 2009-2010
Everton 4-0 Middlesbrough 26th December 1995 1995-1996

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Arsenal 7-0 Everton 11th May 2005 2004-2005
Everton 1-6 Arsenal 15th August 2009 2009-2010
Manchester City 5-0 Everton 9th December 2000 2000-2001
Chelsea 5-0 Everton 5th November 2016 2016-2017
Newcastle United 6-2 Everton 29th March 2002 2001-2002
Everton 1-5 Norwich City 25th September 1993 1993-1994
Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Everton 2nd April 1994 1993-1994
Manchester United 5-1 Everton 4th December 1999 1999-2000
Manchester City 5-1 Everton 15th May 2004 2003-2004
Arsenal 5-1 Everton 3rd February 2018 2017-2018

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Howard Kendall 2 4th December 1993
Mike Walker 2 5th November 1994
Joe Royle 3 27th March 1997
Howard Kendall 1 10th May 1998
Walter Smith 4 10th March 2002
David Moyes 12 19th May 2013
Roberto Martinez 3 12th May 2016
Ronald Koeman 2 23rd October 2017
Sam Allardyce 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Everton 1-0 Liverpool FC 11th December 2004 40,552 2004-2005
Everton 2-1 Manchester City 26th December 2004 40,530 2004-2005
Everton 0-2 Manchester United 27th August 1997 40,479 1997-1998
Everton 2-0 Newcastle United 7th May 2005 40,438 2004-2005
Everton 0-1 Chelsea 12th February 2005 40,270 2004-2005
Everton 2-3 Liverpool FC 16th April 2001 40,260 2000-2001
Everton 2-2 Newcastle United 16th September 2003 40,228 2003-2004
Everton 0-3 Liverpool FC 30th August 2003 40,200 2003-2004
Everton 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22nd November 2003 40,190 2003-2004
Everton 3-4 Manchester United 7th February 2004 40,190 2003-2004

 

Intro

Everton are one of only six teams to have been a Premier League ever-present and when they play on the final day of the 2017-2018 season, they will reach 1000 Premier League games. The Toffees have endured a rollercoaster ride for their supporters. Final day escapes from relegation in 1994 and 1998 mixed in with a highest finish of fourth place under David Moyes’ stable time at the club in 2005. Sam Allardyce is the current boss and the former England manager has guided them to safety after a rocky start to the current campaign.

 

1992-1993

Everton recorded their lowest league finish in over a decade as they never made any telling impact in the inaugural Premier League season. They finished only 13th and just four points clear of the relegation zone. A 2-1 Merseyside Derby victory at Goodison Park in December with Peter Beardsley scoring the winner was the main highlight of the season for the supporters.

 

1993-1994

Victories over Southampton, Manchester City and Sheffield United took Everton briefly top of the table after three matches. The spark had fizzled out though for Howard Kendall and he ended his second spell at his beloved Goodison in early December after just one victory in eight games.

He was replaced by Norwich City boss Mike Walker but he couldn’t stop the slide. Just one win in 10 matches saw Everton start the final day of the season in the bottom three. Things looked grim at home to Wimbledon when they trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. Two goals from Graham Stuart and a Barry Horne blockbuster saw the Toffees rescue the match and their season. Results elsewhere meant Everton avoid relegation…just. They finished 17th but it was much closer than any fan would have liked.

 

1994-1995

The Merseysiders made their worst-ever start to a season, failing to win any of their first 12 games. Despite a 1-0 win over West Ham United in early November, the board ran out of patience with Mike Walker. Days after a goalless draw at former club Norwich, he was sacked and replaced by former goalscoring great Joe Royle – who ended his long association with Oldham Athletic in the process.

The squad looked like a bunch of broken men but Royle fixed things quickly with his ‘Dogs of War’ approach. Clean sheets were kept in five successive matches and victories over Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Leeds United took Everton out of the bottom four. Champions Manchester United were beaten in late February by a towering Duncan Ferguson header and survival was clinched in the club’s penultimate match of the season when a scrappy Paul Rideout effort defeated Ipswich Town.

Rideout would provide the silver lining to the season too with his winner in the FA Cup final against Manchester United. European football would return to Goodison Park for the first time since the Heysel disaster of 1985 which had seen a blanket ban on English clubs competing in Europe.

 

1995-1996

Royle and Everton built on their excellent end to the previous season, finishing sixth and just two points shy of a top four finish. This was despite losing star striker Duncan Ferguson for just over a month after he was sentenced to a spell in jail for head-butting an opponent during his time with Rangers in Scottish football. Andrei Kanchelskis starred with 16 goals in his first season on Merseyside.

 

1996-1997

Everton finished 19 points off their 1995-1996 tally and nine places lower too after a difficult season which saw Joe Royle resign as first-team manager at the end of March. Captain Dave Watson steered the club to safety but there were few highs. Kanchelskis was sold to Fiorentina during the campaign but Everton did record their joint-biggest Premier League victory, thumping Southampton 7-1 in November.

 

1997-1998

Howard Kendall returned for a third spell as manager after preferred target Andy Gray elected to extend his contract with Sky Sports. However, financial problems were growing and the fans’ frustration at owner Peter Johnson’s lack of investment meant Kendall would be in for the toughest season of his managerial career.

Like 1994, Everton went into the final day of the season in the drop zone. A 1-1 draw at home to Coventry City was enough to ensure their safety on goal difference from Bolton Wanderers. There was great joy and relief on the pitch at the final whistle but Kendall wouldn’t be staying. He resigned and would be replaced in the off-season by Walter Smith.

 

1998-1999

Peter Johnson’s tumultuous reign as Everton chairman ended in December, quitting after a row with Walter Smith over the controversial sale of Duncan Ferguson to Newcastle United for £7 million. Smith had enjoyed plenty of success in Scotland with Rangers but couldn’t replicate that in his first season at the helm in England. Everton finished 14th and only the goals of on-loan signing Kevin Campbell in the season’s closing weeks avoided another huge scrap with relegation.

 

1999-2000

Smith’s second season as Everton manager was better and the Toffees spent much of the campaign in the top half of the table. However, a final day home defeat to Middlesbrough saw them finish a slightly underwhelming 13th. Campbell signed permanently and was top scorer with 12 goals and Everton finished with a positive goal difference thanks to huge margin wins over Sunderland and West Ham United.

 

2000-2001

Paul Gascoigne joined the Everton ranks but he was past his best and Everton endured another poor season. They finished a tame 16th in the table, eight points clear of the bottom three. The fans continued to feel frustrated by the lack of progress but Duncan Ferguson did return to the club after 18 months at Newcastle, scoring twice on his home debut return against Charlton Athletic.

 

2001-2002

Two wins and a draw saw Everton top of the table in August but Walter Smith managed just five more victories from the next 26 games. After a calamitous quarter-final exit to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, the board sacked the manager in March. He was replaced by Preston North End boss David Moyes. He managed four victories from his nine games to keep the club clear of any relegation danger. They ended 15th.

 

2002-2003

2002-2003 was Everton’s 100th season in the top division, becoming the first club to achieve this feat. It was also the season that saw Wayne Rooney make his huge breakthrough, becoming an England debutant by the end of it. Rooney scored a brilliant late goal to end Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten league run in October and David Moyes’ side were a challenger for the Champions League positions. Three losses in their last four games meant they missed out on European football altogether but a 7th placed finish was seen as major progress for the supporters after years toiling at the wrong end of the table.

 

2003-2004

After all the promise of the previous season, it looked like it might be a false dawn again. Everton mustered just nine victories and a final day 5-1 mauling at the hands of Manchester City saw the Toffees finish a dreadful 17th in the table, just six points clear of relegated trio, Leicester City, Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

 

2004-2005

Many pundits tipped Everton for relegation in pre-season and a boardroom battle between Bill Kenwright and Phillip Carter raged throughout the summer. Marcus Bent was the only close-season arrival whilst the likes of David Unsworth, Steve Watson, Tomasz Radzinski and boy wonder Wayne Rooney all departed.

The Toffees lost 4-1 on the opening weekend at home to Arsenal but a siege mentality resolve gathered over the club and they completely defied expectations all season. Despite selling Thomas Gravesen to Real Madrid in the January transfer window, Everton secured a Champions League qualification spot, finishing fourth with 61 points. It meant they finished above Liverpool FC for the first time in the Premier League Years. Tim Cahill was the Player of the Season, scoring 11 times in his debut campaign at this level.

 

2005-2006

Eight matches into the 2005-2006 season and Everton were propping up the table, with just three points and seven defeats. A 1-1 draw with runaway league leaders Chelsea saw a revival in fortunes but back-to-back 4-0 losses over Christmas by Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa ensured Everton went into 2006 in the bottom three.

The fans needn’t have worried. Everton lost just four games in the second half of the season and rallied to finish in 11th place but struggled for goals all season. They hit the back of the net just 34 times in 38 matches.

 

2006-2007

In an attempt to solve the goalscoring conundrum, David Moyes signed Andy Johnson from Crystal Palace in the summer and Johnson produced a solid 11-goal return. Everton showed much better consistency and there was an enjoyable 3-0 home victory in the Merseyside Derby in September. Everton finished in sixth place – which ensured qualification for next season’s UEFA Cup.

 

2007-2008

David Moyes’ reputation as one of the finest managers in England continued as Everton amassed 65 points and finished fifth in the table. In fact, they were fourth in the table with 10 games left to play but arch-rivals Liverpool FC’s late surge in form saw them overtake their neighbours before the season’s end. Yakubu enjoyed a prolific first season at Everton, scoring 15 Premier League goals whilst Sunderland were destroyed 7-1 in November which is the club’s joint-biggest Premier League victory.

 

2008-2009

Despite limits on resources, Everton broke their transfer record in late August to acquire the talents of Marouane Fellaini from Standard Liege for £15 million. A difficult start to their home form meant Everton didn’t launch a top-four challenge. Louis Saha’s late winner over Fulham in November galvanised their domestic season. Everton finished fifth for the second successive season.

 

2009-2010

Many key players were missing from Everton’s line-up in the first half of the season, with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka and Yakubu missing due to long-term injuries. This played a part in a tricky start to the season. Everton were just 16th at Christmas and only two points clear of relegation danger.

However, they were one of the form sides in the second half of the season, losing just two of their last 24 matches. This included impressive victories over Chelsea and Manchester United. Everton finished in eighth place. Their slow start ensured European football would elude them for the following season.

 

2010-2011

Traditional slow starters Everton failed to win a top-flight game until early October when they beat Birmingham City 2-0. There was a memorable Derby victory over Liverpool FC and a fourth successive victory at Eastlands against Manchester City but these were three of just four victories in the first half of the season. Again, form improved after Christmas with just two losses from their last 12 matches to ensure a final finishing position of seventh.

 

2011-2012

Everton’s Premier League campaign was delayed by a week due to the London riots forcing a postponement of their scheduled starting match at Tottenham Hotspur. Again, they made a slow start but a nine-game unbeaten sequence at the end of the season ensured back-to-back seventh place finishes. Even better for the supporters was the rarity of finishing above Liverpool FC in the final standings, even though the Reds won both Merseyside Derby encounters. The winter arrival of Nikica Jelavic boosted the team and he scored nine times, including twice in a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford in April.

 

2012-2013

2012-2013 was a very consistent season for Everton, who began with a tremendous 1-0 victory over Manchester United with an inspired display from Marouane Fellaini. Two stoppage-time goals defeated Tottenham Hotspur in December and reigning champions Manchester City were beaten 2-0 in March. Everton finished in sixth position and above Liverpool in the table for the second successive season.

However, too many draws and a horrible display in the FA Cup quarter-finals which saw them lose 3-0 to Wigan Athletic saw many supporters disappointed. On 9th May, David Moyes confirmed he would be leaving after 11 years at the helm as manager. He was taking the vacancy being created by Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement at Manchester United.

 

2013-2014

For the first time since 2002, Everton started a Premier League campaign without David Moyes as their manager. Roberto Martinez filled the vacancy and believed Everton could qualify for the UEFA Champions League within three years. They nearly achieved it in his successful first season. Everton finished with their highest points tally (72) and a fifth-place finish.

Martinez inspired Everton to their best sequence of results in their Premier League history with a run of seven successive victories before a 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace which meant their chances of beating Arsenal to fourth place all but disappeared. There was a joyous league double over Manchester United and a home success over Chelsea too. Romelu Lukaku made an immediate mark in his debut season as an Everton player. On-loan from Chelsea, Lukaku finished with 15 goals and would join permanently in the summer.

 

2014-2015

After all the promise and excitement of Martinez’s debut campaign, Everton showed a huge degree of inconsistency in 2014-2015. By the end of the calendar year, they had the second worst defensive record in the league and had made the most individual errors resulting in goals in Europe’s top five leagues. The Toffees finished in a disappointing 11th place and a massive 25 points off their final 2013-2014 tally.

 

2015-2016

Despite reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions, league form again failed to sparkle for Everton. There were some better results. Steven Naismith came off the bench to score a hat-trick in an early season 3-1 victory over champions Chelsea and Arouna Kone also recorded a treble in a 6-2 beating of Sunderland in November.

Too many draws and a dreadful home record blighted Everton’s challenge for a top six finish. After the Sunderland victory, just four more home triumphs were recorded and 55 goals were leaked as mistakes from the previous season weren’t learned from.

A Merseyside Derby mauling at Anfield in April really cranked up the pressure on Martinez and after a similar kind of display in a 3-0 loss to Sunderland, Bill Kenwright had little option but to sack him before the final game of the season. For the second successive campaign, Everton finished only 11th.

 

2016-2017

Ronald Koeman was chosen as Martinez’s successor as he left Southampton and Everton made some radical improvements to finish seventh and a whopping 15 points clear of the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, they were eight points shy of sixth-placed Manchester United which meant they were almost in their own division.

Lukaku became the club’s highest all-time Premier League top goalscorer and finished with 25 goals, only denied the Golden Boot by a final week masterclass from Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who scored eight times in his last three matches. In fact, Everton never relinquished seventh place in the table after a Boxing Day victory at outgoing champions Leicester City.

 

2017-2018

Money was thrown at a real push for the top four positions with Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Gylfi Sigurdsson among the new arrivals. There was also an emotional return for Wayne Rooney, who returned to the club in a deal which saw Romelu Lukaku depart in the other direction for Manchester United.

Rooney began well with the winner at home to Stoke City on the opening day, followed by his 200th Premier League strike in a draw with Manchester City. Two months later though, Ronald Koeman was out of a job. Everton won just two matches in their first nine games and slipped into the bottom three after a 5-2 humbling by Arsenal at Goodison Park. Kenwright axed Koeman 24 hours later.

After David Unsworth filled the position for a month in an interim spell and a prolonged chase for Marco Silva failed, the Toffees abandoned their ambitious approach and went back to basics. Sam Allardyce arrived at the helm and guided Everton away from any relegation danger. With four games left, they sit ninth in the table but a string of turgid displays away from Merseyside has left supporters unhappy. It remains unclear if Allardyce will start next season as the club’s manager.

Iconic Moments: Sporting class from di Canio (December 2000)

Paolo di Canio had attracted the wrong kind of headlines in September 1998 when he lost his temper and shoved referee Paul Alcock to the floor whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday. Now at West Ham United, di Canio could still have moments of madness. However, he won plenty of friends on Merseyside for this sporting gesture in December 2000.

Everton were playing West Ham at Goodison Park and the score was evenly poised at 1-1 when Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard charged out of his goal and got injured in the process. Trevor Sinclair played on and crossed the ball and all Di Canio had to do was put the ball into an empty net and win the game for the Londoners.

However, he chose to catch the ball rather than score so the physios could come on the pitch to treat Gerrard. He received a round of applause from all four corners of the ground in what has to be considered as one of the best acts of sportsmanship seen in the first 25 years of Premier League football.

This gesture saw him win the FIFA Fair Play Award for 2001.