Everton have always been the good guys of the Premier League, even arch rivals Liverpool have a soft spot for their neighbours. Over the years Everton have supplied some of the best footballing talent England has had to offer. The Toffees have always been kind enough to move on their best talents to bigger clubs when the time is right. Their most high profile departure was of course Wayne Rooney to Manchester United, when he was just a wee boy. However Rooney has achieved great success with the Red Devils since then, whereas Everton have spent most of their time languishing in mid table.
Although this isn’t Everton’s fault, they are a selling club, with a weakness for foreign owners with large wallets. Manchester United have taken advantage the most. After the retirement of Sir Alex, they barged their way into Goodison Park to recruit then Everton manager David Moyes, on the basis that he was ‘the chosen one’ for Man United’s new era. Once Moyes was appointed United manager he went back to his former club to sign Belgian midfielder Fellaini, without a moment’s hesitation.
Poor old Everton have always been the victims. Well not anymore because now they have some backbone. After resisting big money offers for Barkley and Baines many people began to wonder if Everton had turned a corner. In 2014 they started buying players permanently rather than on loan. Then from out of nowhere they spent £28 million on Romelu Lukaku, their biggest outlay on a player in the club’s history.
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Now it seems Everton has the financial capability to not only sign the best players, but to keep them as well. In the last transfer window they rejected numerous big money offers from Chelsea for their promising young defender John Stones. Not only did they turn down the offer, but Everton went a bought a defender of their own, and snatched him from the grasp of Chelsea, just to rub Jose’s nose in it. It’s been great to watch Everton grow in confidence in the transfer market, but it’s about time they turned their good business into good results.
For too many years now Everton have failed to challenge the top teams in the Premier League. Despite all their new found gusto in the transfer window, Everton still finished in 11th place last season. An improvement on that finish is expected this season, however a top half finish will hardly be an achievement for a team that can boast of a £28 million striker.
The Toffees need to stop piggybacking on other small clubs in the Premier League and take some responsibility. If Everton are going to spend big money and pay big wages, then they should be fighting for the major honours every season.
When pundits refer to Everton as a top six team it is by a token of charity rather than merit. Only when the Toffees seriously challenge for 4th place will they deserve to be considered a top 6 team. However until that season comes it will always be the same old Everton, always mid table.