When I wrote my article on the need to give Ange Postecoglou a long term deal I mentioned Everton as one of the places down south where there might soon be a managerial vacancy, and today what seemed inevitable has come to pass. Frank Lampard is gone, his reign of error is over and the Merseyside club is looking for a new boss.
Reports from south of the border have linked them with two bosses familiar to the EPL watchers; Sean Dyche and Ralph Hasenhüttl. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s one of them or not. The Everton job is not one that any sane manager would covet.
Their owner Farhad Moshiri, and their chairman Bill Kenwright, have sacked seven managers in an eight-year spell. There is no stability in that club, and there is little prospect of getting any whilst the fan-base remains committed to ousting the board. I don’t think that there is any managerial appointment which will change the position Everton are in.
Like most other clubs in that league, they are hamstrung by rising player prices and wages, their inability to sign promising talent from outside England due to the Brexit work permit system and by the EPL’s own version of the Financial Sustainability regulations.
They might post greater annual earnings, because of TV money, than we can … but their club is a mess and there is no sugar-daddy leadership.
Like some other EPL clubs they have a fan-base which was once grounded and realistic and which has become increasingly demanding and intolerant of failure.
Ange has worked hard to get to where he is right now. He could undo it all in the space of 12 months if he moves down there and cannot save that club from what looks like a certain fate. Some clubs just have the Mark of Cain on them, and Everton has managed just three wins in 20 EPL games. They are as close to being a relegation certainty as you’ll ever get.
I don’t think they’d approach us about Ange. I think their board will go for one of those bosses who specialises in low-quality football which does just enough to keep them in the league. There are plenty of them out of work. Ange’s swashbuckling style would need time to work, and time is the one thing that Everton just don’t have right now.
Frankly, if Everton tried playing that kind of football with their current squad then the possibility of relegation would turn into a certainty. They simply do not have the players for it and there is no time left in the window to start changing that.
The press will do its best to create a story where there is none, but this isn’t one of the clubs we need to worry about. If they appoint a temporary manager to get them through this campaign and the job is available in the summer, and if they are still in the EPL, then we might be talking about it as a slightly scarier prospect, but it would depend on them staying up and anyone who took that job on would want a guarantee that they’d get the gig if they achieved it.
Frankly, if someone keeps Everton in the EPL they deserve to be canonised, because a bona fide miracle is what it’s going to take.
So it hardly seems worth worrying about in any way, shape or form.
Like a lot of other clubs down there, Everton seems incapable of adopting anything other than a short-term strategic outlook, which is what comes from being cash rich and arrogant and being focussed on nothing other than keeping the TV money flowing.
Even if they ask him, Ange Postecoglou would be a fool to go there, and this man is not a fool.
There is no future for the next Everton manager except a short stay followed by the sack.
Ange has toiled away in Asia without ever getting the chance to go to Europe until we came along.
If he’s going to go at some point, it will not be to a club in freefall.
He is much, much smarter than that.