Patience is a virtue; virtue rewards itself.
The season is almost upon us, and with the expected ins and outs at the club, the question being touted by fans and some media outlets is the same for Everton as it is for all clubs: where are they capable of finishing?
In Everton’s case, this same question was asked and answered by the now infamous Richard Keyes tweet, where he suggested that our business was good enough to finish above Liverpool.
With this season, the most important thing is patience. It’s Silva and Brands’ first season in charge. If we get all our targets this will have been a very successful window, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. What we learnt last season was that it can burn down quickly, especially if expectations are too high, or with a horror start to the season, or without a starting striker. Our opening run of fixtures this season almost could not have been better, and certainly could not have been more different from our opening run of fixtures last season.
This season should be about rebuilding and cementing ourselves as the best of the rest. Next season, a challenge to the top six is possible, especially if we continue to build sustainably with Brands at the helm, implementing a solid style for the club to continue playing, with or without Silva as manager.
On the flip side, there could have been a chance of it this season for one major reason: Arsenal and Chelsea are in the same boat as us, albeit with better players. The shame of this season is, if we had Silva and Brands in charge last season we’d probably be going into this season with a specific, strong style of play that had cemented itself last season with the players, putting us in a potentially better position than some of the other top six teams. As it is, Chelsea will take time to adapt to Sarri’s style, just as Arsenal will to Emery’s style, while we’re also stuck adapting to Silva’s style.
As things are though, the future looks bright. Many of the important holes in the squad have been filled, or, from the sounds of things, will be. Last window most of the fanbase were crying out for a striker and a left back. As is, we have Tosun leading the line with other quality attacking players assisting him, and Lucas Digne at left back.
Perhaps just as importantly, Brands has gotten rid of the dead wood from the team, while keeping a tight lid on transfer targets. None of us saw Bernard coming, yet at this point it’s almost a certainty.
The club is moving in the right direction, but patience is required. A look at Tottenham and how long it took Pochettino to get them to perform successfully as a top four team should tell us what we need to know about how much work it takes to be where we want to be.’