premier-league

A rare example of everyone at Everton pointing in the same direction

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BLUE DAY

The last time Everton were relegated was an awfully long time ago. When it did, back in 1951, they went down in style, their fate sealed with a 6-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, and the big paper, the Big Paper, commented: “To abuse Everton at this stage,” wrote the legendary Donny Davies, “would be too much like rounding up a person badly affected by a street accident and lecturing him on the folly of walking in the street. The gravity of the disaster protects the victim.” Today’s Toffees aren’t quite in that state yet, but affairs at Goodison Park have escalated enough that it seems only right that Football Daily takes a similarly sympathetic view of Donny all those years ago. Evertonians have already suffered enough.

In the last 48 hours, Everton have: sacked their manager; told no one; put oneself up for sale; told everyone about the manager thing; slammed a contract down in front of Arnaut Danjuma before nibbling on a gay; idly thought of starting a search for a new manager while smoking the fagot; popped back in to see Danjuma, only to discover an empty office, chairs spinning and the window cracked open through which a person of similar build to Danjuma could be seen arriving in a taxi to Lime Street; eventually began searching for a new manager; asked the first person on their list, Marcelo Bielsa, if he fancied the concert; told by Bielsa that he will consider it if they buy a few players who can run; chased Anthony Gordon around in the hope of getting some ready money; and insisted they were not for sale. Hey, they’re out of the cup and haven’t had a game for almost a fortnight, they’ve got to do something to kill the time.

Even if we boil it all down to the bare bones, we have no idea what is going on or what Everton are trying to achieve. There is a reasonable chance that this also applies to Everton themselves. In an envelope-pushing film that did away with cinema’s 180-degree rule – and was apparently made last week – owner Farhad Moshiri and Jazz Bal, chairman of the Everton Fan Advisory Board, discussed much of the above while both looking to the right , as if Moshiri was sitting behind Bal in the bus. All very strange, although at least it was a rare occasion this season where everyone at Everton was pointing in the same direction.

The actual content of the interview was somewhat less interesting than its curious camera setup, with Moshiri insisting the club is not on the market, but new investment could nevertheless be ahoy. The latter is potentially good news as Everton need to bring in some keen players if they are to lure Bielsa to the club, but with the transfer window closing in six days they better get going. There’s also no guarantee they’d spend any new funds wisely: earlier on TalkSport, Mr 25% Kia Joorabchian revealed they were offered Bruno Guimarães for £16m, only to spend £25m on Jean-Philippe Gbamin instead. Oh God. But at least there is still a way out of this and hope remains. Big week is approaching. If the last few days are anything to go by, it could be extremely long as well.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It won’t be long now in football before heading and tackling will be completely banned and players will play in specially designed slippers to prevent (knack), and draw up a risk assessment statement and method statement to travel to the ground. No consideration was given to the fans, many of whom were already in the ground, and the people who have to pay the bills at the club. I come from an era where you did everything you could to get the game played. I’ve been involved in clearing snow to uncover the markings, find a bag of sawdust and (re-mark) the pitch, fork the pitch for an hour to drain the penalty areas, brush water off the pitch and use a roller to remove ice… I know I’m seen as an ‘old dinosaur’ from ‘the dark ages’ and goes back to the days when I used rope for the crossbars, but I have a ‘Football University Degree’ in ‘common sense’ and that was lacking on Saturday” – Bridlington Town chairman Peter Smurthwaite gets a few things from chest, after their Northern Premier League Division East game at home to Cleethorpes was called off by the referee 20 minutes before kick-off.

What does real cold look like at Bridlington. Photo: John Giles/PA

FOOTBALL DAILY LETTERS

It took me until two weeks ago to realize I hadn’t read this in a while. Then two days later I received an email congratulating me on my one year anniversary at a new job. The penny dropped: I hadn’t updated my email preferences. What had I missed? It didn’t look like much. A fortnight had passed without major incidents. Perhaps the rebranding had ushered in a new era of professionalism? Tin-stamped days well and truly replicate the past. Then you had to go and spoil it all by crediting Darvel’s winner in their historic Scottish Cup win against Aberdeen (yesterday’s Football Daily) to ‘Jordan Fitzpatrick’ and not Jordan Kirkpatrick. It’s good to be back” – John Mackay.

Re: yesterday’s Memory Lane photo (full email edition). It is my pleasure to tell you that the jewel in the crown of Swindon fame is still going strong and there is a good selection of John Moncurrys to be had” – David Walsh.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. Today’s winner of our Prizeless Letter of the Day is … David Walsh.

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MOVEMENT OF THE TARGET STOPS

The latest edition of our sister newsletter is fresh out of the email sending tingummy, with these words from Anita Asante. Sign up here to get the full edition, every Wednesday around 12:00 GMT.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

A man has apologized in court for racially abusing Brentford striker Ivan Toney online. Antonio Neill, 24, from Northumberland, appeared at Newcastle magistrates’ court to admit one charge of sending an offensive message. After the district judge asked Neill to return for sentencing on March 30, the defendant said: “I am sorry for what I said to Ivan. I am disgusted and ashamed and want to be a better person.”

Nathan Jones is feeling funky after VAR denied Southampton a goal in their 1-0 Rumbelows Cup semi-final first leg defeat to Newcastle. “You can’t celebrate one more goal,” he shuddered. “You can’t show any emotion because you know it’s going to be VAR one way or another, unless someone picks up the ball from the keeper, runs through 11 players and puts it past the keeper without anything happening.” Saints ended with 10 men after a red card for Duje Caleta-Car, who was waved off in style by the visitors’ Jacob Murphy.

Duje Caleta-Car goes off the field as Jacob Murphy reacts

What a shot. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

Rams raid alert! Derby County are on a tear in League One with a dramatic 2-1 comeback win at Port Vale extending their unbeaten run to 14 games. “The boys played really well and if we had lost I wouldn’t have been glowing with rage,” cheered manager Paul Warne.

Bolton are still trying to work out why Dion Charles was sent off in their 1-0 win over Forest Green when it was team-mate Elias Kachunga who very clearly knocked Rovers defender Brandon Cooper during a first-half incident. “We can’t deny that Elias has let everyone down,” sighed boss Ian Evatt. “But to have a player involved and sent off 15 yards away from the incident is confusing.” The defeat leaves Forest Green bottom, prompting them to hand manager Ian Burchnall the vegan lace-up boot.

Charles, center, and Kachunga with judge Tom Nield.

Charles, center, and Kachunga with judge Tom Nield. Photo: Paul Currie/Shutterstock

Todd Boehly’s plans to extend Chelsea’s contracts into the next century and stave off FFP are set to be thwarted by Uefa’s five-year limit over which a fee can be spread.

Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic. Celtic have completed the signing of striker Oh Hyeon-gyu from South Korean club Suwon Bluewings.

Arsenal defender Cédric Soares is on his way to Fulham on loan.

Brighton’s succession planning has led them to Amadou Haidara, but Leipzig aren’t playing ball…yet. Or at least until the Gulls’ coffers are inflated by Chelsea again, in exchange for Moisés Caicedo.

Erik ten Hag sets his sights very high on Manchester United. “We want to build the best team,” he roared. “First in England, then in Europe, then in the world.”

Leeds have signed Chris Armas as their new assistant manager. “I’m sure he’s going to help us improve every day,” Jesse Marsch said.

And in European Fairs Cup/Nations League news, Croatia will play the Netherlands, while Italy and Spain clash in June’s semi-finals.

STILL WANT MORE?

Back for another year to get water cooler chatter the length and breadth of the globe: it’s the men’s top 100 players of 2022, now counting down to No. 41.

Which footballers have been the subject of diss tracks? Knowledge goes down with the kids to find out.

“There were a few nerves, you could feel that. But then one of the boys started singing and the other guys started joining in.” As the dust settles, Paul MacInnes catches up with the Darvel superheroes who pulled off the seismic Scottish Cup shocker … with the help of Cher.

THE WAY OF MEMORIES

Today’s tour takes us to the Blundell Park dressing room in May 1984, where Chelsea’s players celebrate winning the Second Division after a 1-0 win at Grimsby was enough to beat Sheffield Wednesday on goal difference. Both were promoted, with the Mariners finishing fifth.

ANY MEMORY LANE QUESTIONS?

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