The life of a mid-table team like Everton can be a draining and arduous affair. Disappointment follows on from the hollow hope all too often before another set of false promises appear.
However, teams such as Leicester City and West Ham United have shown in recent years that treading water and settling for mediocrity doesn’t have to be the sum of their existence.
Sometimes, on rare occasions, the glass ceiling to football’s elite can be broken and dreams are not just distant prospects dangling out of reach.
There are a couple of proven methods that allow sides such as Everton to cross the bridge from the Premier League’s road to nowhere that is mid-table and into the upper echelons of the division.
The Hammers have done so primarily through a set of clear, astute tactical instructions from a manager that has his players well organised and producing results and performances far above the sum of their parts.
Whereas Leicester have predominantly prioritised efficient work in the transfer market, adopting the approach of buying low and selling high, before reinvesting the proceeds wisely in the first-team squad.
And it’s the latter approach where Everton have so often come short in recent years.
The Merseyside outfit have made big losses on the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin while failing to maximise the revenue from talented prospects such as Ross Barkley, weakening their financial might in the market.
But director of football Marcel Brands has also pulled off a handful of masterclasses during his tenure in the Everton boardroom.
Although the Goodison Park outfit were weaker for his departure, in reality, they were in a position to turn down the advances of a Super Club such as Paris Saint-Germain, so when a side like that comes calling, achieving the highest price possible becomes the priority.
Given Gueye had signed for just £7.1m, had only one year left on his contract and was 29 years old, Brands certainly did that. That can’t deter us away from the fact that he’s a mightily good player, though, with PSG defender, Presnel Kimpembe, calling him a “monster.”
That said, if the Dutchman could complete similar deals on a regular basis, then Everton would be able to join the exclusive group of sides punching above their weight and upsetting the established elite, rather than constantly looking up the table with envious eyes.