Despite being one of the most successful clubs in English soccer history, it’s been a long time since Everton won their last domestic trophy in 1995. Add in the recent success of cross-town rivals Liverpool, and Everton’s failures become that much more meaningful.
Manager merry-go-round: Since the end of David Moyes’ 10-year reign over the club in 2013, Everton has struggled to find a consistent, talented manager.
- Differing styles: Four managers in three seasons have all signed players to fit their individual styles, contributing to a large and bloated squad. The transition from Roberto Martinez’s fast-paced action to Sam Allardyce’s defensive system to Marco Silva’s balanced attack has been a difficult one for the players.
- Marco’s the man: The hope for Everton is that their current manager, Marco Silva, will finally be the consistent leader they have been searching for. However, his previous teams at Hull City and Watford were promising in the short term before falling off near the end of his time there.
- Late-season success: The opposite was true for Everton this season, as they struggled early but catapulted up the table to eighth place later in the campaign. Everton took 17 points from a possible 24 in their final eight matches (five wins, two draws, one loss), with wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Dead weight: In order to get the club’s finances in order, Everton needs to sell at least eight players before even considering buying new ones.
- Cenk Tosun: Allardyce signed the tall, physical Turkish striker for £20 million last January, but Tosun has never quite adjusted to the Premier League. He scored just five goals for Everton last year, and managed just four in 29 appearances this year.
- Theo Walcott: Another Allardyce signing, Walcott was an important player for Everton this year, but his time with the club is up. The 30-year-old winger played in 37-of-38 Premier League contests but recorded only seven goal contributions. With young wingers such as Richarlison, Ademola Lookman, Nikola Vlasic and Henry Onyekuru all pushing for playing time, Walcott should be on his way out.
- Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina: Two reminders of Ronald Koeman’s failed attempts with Everton, both are still contracted to the club despite being far below the Premier League quality needed. Neither will garner much attention in the transfer market, but getting their contracts off the books is a priority.
The summer plan: Everton will also need to bring in additional players which fit Silva’s style of play. The team may have depth, but it still needs quality starters.
- Keep Andre Gomes: Everton seems to be developing a budding relationship with Barcelona after signing Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina, and taking Andre Gomes on loan for the season. That relationship will come in handy as Everton needs to keep Gomes, who was an essential part of the midfield last season in his 27 Premier League appearances.
- Keep Kurt Zouma: Another loanee who impressed during his time at Everton, the Chelsea player finally seemed to find his potential years after an awful knee injury. Zouma has little place among Chelsea’s top-notch centre backs, but he formed a formidable partnership with Michael Keane last season.
- Sign a good striker: Striker is by far the biggest hole in the Everton lineup. Along with Tosun, 22-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison played up top in lieu of an established goal-scorer, and none were the answer. It doesn’t matter who Everton bring in — Aleksandar Mitrovic has been a target — they need to hit on a proven attacker.
Tough competition: In the past three seasons, Everton has finished seventh, eighth and eighth in the Premier League. That trend will likely continue in the 2019-20 season.
- Not quite big six: Despite their storied history, Everton is still a notch below the Premier League’s big six clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City). With all six earning European competition last year, they will have additional funds to strengthen their squads and return for another season.
- The best of the rest: While Everton may be a step below the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, they are a step above teams such as Crystal Palace and Newcastle in funding and quality. Other teams, such as Wolves, are providing competition for the big six too. But Everton is among the best.
Bottom line: Everton is hoping Marco Silva will be with the team for the long haul and are giving him time to build a team to his liking.
- What’s good? A good year would be a sixth or seventh-place finish in the league, with a deep run in either the League or FA Cup thrown in as well. Anything above sixth place would mark a great success for Silva.
- Stinky cheese: On the other hand, a finish below 10th place wouldn’t garner much job security for Silva. Anything below 12th and his time with the Toffees is likely over.