There is an old saying: a week is a long time in football. For Evertonians, the last week has been an eternity.
Even those that lived through the desperate and baron days of the 1970s cannot recall a week where the club has looked more disjointed, fractured and confused.
It truly has been a terrible time for the Blue half of Merseyside, with the imminent appointment of Sean Dyche just a faint glimmer that some form of stability will return in the dressing room
However, the same cannot be said for the boardroom protests planned before and after the upcoming game against Arsenal against the Everton hierarchy.
It appears there is no let-up in the demands by supporters for change beyond the dugout
The dignity shown by Frank Lampard during the tumultuous time towards the end of his tenure has departed with him; he was the one fronting up to fans and their concerns.
Since then, the owner Farhad Moshiri was interviewed by the club’s fan advisory board. He cut a calm and considered figure, who looked like he had heard everything the club’s vociferous fanbase has had to say – and he gave a glimmer of hope that changes may come
Moshiri said: “I am not shy to make changes, I hear what the fans say. They have points, and we will be addressing them.”
Seemingly, it was a clear message that he will get to grips with the failures of, at least, his time at the club.
Everton fans will hope that starts with the appointment of Dyche, the manager with plenty of Premier League experience and someone who recognizes the difficult position the team is in right now.
Following the West Ham game, Moshiri told Sky Sports News: “It’s not my decision,” in reference to whether Lampard would be sacked.
He was right.
“He works closely with the board, and considers them in all of his decisions”, someone close to Moshiri tells me – and it appears that has been the case in the process to find Lampard’s successor, too.
It has been a frantic week, with Marcelo Bielsa, Dyche, Ralph Hasenhuttl and Carlos Corberan all being considered for the role.
In the end, it came down to two: Bielsa and Dyche.
The reset of the football club option in the former and the more pragmatic, ‘deal-with-the-situation-in-front-of-you’ approach in the latter.
It is true, Moshiri wanted and was intrigued by the thought of Bielsa getting hold of the club and changing its direction completely, but he was also mindful of the need to secure Premier League safety now.
Bielsa, the former Leeds manager, in a long, late night meeting on Thursday requested a period where he could view the whole club and assess its needs.
He wanted time to implement his unique adaptation on the football club from top to bottom and come the end of the season, take charge as manager.
That would have meant bringing in an interim manager. It was unlikely Dyche would ever agree to be that man. That would have left the need for a firefighter, and Everton have been down that road before.
Moshiri, taking his board’s advice into account, agreed and decided on the Burnley man being the way forward.
His deliberation and subsequent decision proves that those who accuse him of wrongdoing, those who say he makes all the decisions and overrides people at the club, are not accurate.
It indicates we cannot believe the whispers and rumors emanating from those that spin that particular line.
His acceptance that Dyche is the sensible choice at this juncture is proof that he does listen and is willing to put his own wishes behind that of the club he owns 94 per cent of.
Dyche was “impressive” an insider tells me, adding “he was energetic and up for the fight ahead” – both men impressed in different ways.
Those long-suffering Evertonians will hope to see that energy translate to points and a climb away from danger in the coming weeks.
But Moshiri knows his work is not done to get this great old club back to the top of the game.
Stubbs: Dyche has to give Everton an identity
Former Everton defender Alan Stubbs told Sky Sports:
“I wish Sean Dyche all the best in the job, but secondly, he’s got an enormous job to do. Anyone who knows football or is a fan of any club can see the enormity of the task ahead of him. But knowing the way he is, I’m sure he’ll tackle it head on. He’s not soft, he’s an experienced manager.
“The one thing he’s got to get of these players is he’s got to pick them up as they look devoid of confidence and Dyche has to give Everton an identity.
“Over the last few months, I think Everton fans don’t know what this team is, whether they’re a counter-attacking team, one that will play through the thirds. He’s got to get a tune out of the players.
“All eyes will be on the players now as the manager’s gone. They were right behind the manager but the performances didn’t back it up.
“I hope Sean can really get into these players because some of them need a kick up their behinds. They need to get back to the levels that some of them showed early on.
“We’re too easy to play against and are conceding too many goals, which has told us there are problems in the team. The one thing with Dyche’s teams is that first and foremost they’re hard to beat.
“He did a really good job at Burnley and it was only towards the end that it started to change. He’s got to bring an identity and a solidity to the team.
“They need a simplicity to how they play. Don’t overload them too many things, get them out there and do the fundamentals. You can look to build on that. When they’ve been in games at 0-0, they’ ve defeated themselves but with Dyche they’ll be in there until the very end.
“This group of players is not good enough to keep Everton up so they will need help.”
Everton’s next six fixtures
February 4 – arsenal (H), kick-off 12.30pm
February 13 – Liverpool (A), live on Sky Sportskick off 8pm
February 18 – Leeds (H), kick-off 3pm
February 25 – Aston Villa (H), kick-off 3pm
March 5 – Nottingham Forest (A), kick-off 2pm
March 11 – Brentford (H), kick-off 3pm