The January transfer will seal Everton’s fate and contract for a vital trio – predictions for 2023

ECHO sportswriter predicts what will happen for Everton over the next 12 months

After six weeks of preparation, Everton are hoping to get to work when they return to action after the World Cup break.

Instead, just four games later, the Blues fell into the relegation zone and were knocked out of the FA Cup after a traumatic two weeks. A draw at home to the reigning Premier League champions amidst three defeats only further muddy the waters when trying to assess where Everton is.

But two things seemed clear – first, they needed attacking options and, second, they were in a relegation battle for the second straight season unless progress could be found quickly. As the club enter week two of the transfer window, Lampard’s squad has only been strengthened by the recall of young striker Ellis Simms from a loan deal at Sunderland. Meanwhile, his position came under scrutiny and the wider club management was subject to growing discontent. The last two weeks have been an unsettling platform for Everton’s entry into 2023. Against that backdrop, ECHO’s Everton writers discuss the next 12 months.

Joe Thomas
January 2022 was as tumultuous as they came as Everton went into a month without a director of football, making decisions in the transfer market with one manager replacing him, sacking him and then ending the transfer window with Frank Lampard as boss. Avoiding such a turbulent January should be the main goal of the season, however this month has been one of crisis and it hasn’t even been two weeks yet. It looks like Everton will be increasingly embroiled in a relegation battle and, at this stage, communication is essential.

This club is stronger with the support of the fans – as we saw very clearly last year. But the silence surrounding Goodison Park after Brighton’s fourth betrayed a sense of frustration that the club could once again be forced to use the same people to keep them going. Everton will need to communicate with those fans if they are to convince them to join them in this battle as valiantly as they did last season. This month presents Everton’s greatest opportunity to take action that will help them survive another relegation battle. That includes responding to growing concerns about club management and working in the transfer window to provide Lampard, whose position will be strengthened if Everton can beat Southampton, with the tools he needs to get the team out of trouble. Money may be tight but the problems on the ground have been evident for months so the preparatory work for this window should have been completed well before January 1st.

January 2022 was as tumultuous as they came as Everton went into a month without a director of football, making decisions in the transfer market with one manager replacing him, sacking him and then ending the transfer window with Frank Lampard as boss. Avoiding such a turbulent January should be the main goal of the season, however this month has been one of crisis and it hasn’t even been two weeks yet. It looks like Everton will be increasingly embroiled in a relegation battle and, at this stage, communication is essential.

This club is stronger with the support of the fansas we saw very clearly last year. But the silence surrounding Goodison Park after Brighton’s fourth betrayed a sense of frustration that the club could once again be forced to use the same people to keep them going. Everton will need to communicate with those fans if they are to convince them to join them in this battle as valiantly as they did last season. This month presents Everton’s greatest opportunity to take action that will help them survive another relegation battle. That includes responding to growing concerns about club management and working in the transfer window to provide Lampard, whose position will be strengthened if Everton can beat Southampton, with the tools he needs to get the team out of trouble. Money may be tight but the problems on the ground have been evident for months so the preparatory work for this window should have been completed well before January 1st.

But what happens after will be very important. Few fans will love a full sale from Farhad Moshiri, after presiding over a disastrous seven-year tenure, in addition to a new stadium. Others will point the finger at the boardroom, with recent letters from fan groups to owners calling for chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and others to be replaced. The manager also needs to improve his record. Despite the unfavorable circumstances he has had to live with, three wins from 18 Premier League games has been enough to see any of his predecessors take a hit – that is a form of relegation. There has been a long absence of competent leadership at Everton. And while the clear focus for now should be on the problems on the pitch to prevent Goodison’s final season in the second tier, fresh faces and fresh ideas are needed to get the Blues back on an upward trend.

Connor O’Neill

After a year of frustration, it’s hard to believe that Everton once again find themselves in the position they did when they started 2023. On the pitch, things are looking pretty bleak at the moment. Losses to Wolves and Brighton left supporters fearing the worst. The dreaded R-word is back in use.

This month has been huge for the Blues. Not only do they need to pick up points against Southampton and West Ham United, but off the pitch Kevin Thelwell needs to work a miracle. Frank Lampard has been talking about his squad needing help since November but now we are in the second week of January and no new signings have arrived. As well as the new signings, it is also important that Alex Iwobi, Anthony Gordon and Jordan Pickford sign new contracts with the club in the coming weeks, and that Conor Coady joins on a permanent basis.

Construction of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock continues at a rapid pace. The progress made over the past year has been incredible. And there isn’t a Blues fan out there who can’t wait to see the site continue to grow over the next 12 months. But once again all thoughts are on the problems on the pitch as the Blues face a tough fortnight which could very well define their season. Yes, they really are that big.

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