Make sure you’re sitting down for this one. 13th. That’s the position Everton FC are in the world in terms of most valuable brands. They sit above the likes of AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke and just behind Juventus with a brand value of around €360 million. And what are fans getting for this? 18th spot in the Premier League table and a possible relegation battle.
Granted it’s early days in the new season but it’s far from an ideal start for the Toffees. Having signed some quality players in the summer - notably Sigurdsson, Vlasic and Klaassen, things were looking up after a bright start to the season. They got off to a great start by thrashing Premier League powerhouses Stoke city 1 nil but it’s been downhill since then for Koeman and co. Consecutive defeats to Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United saw them fail to score a single goal in each match but it’s their European adventure which caught my attention.
Atalanta B.C. - a team worth about a third of Everton’s value, taught the Blues a footballing lesson in the Europa League group stages. Most build up and predictions had Everton as strong favourites but proponents of this scenario clearly don’t watch Italian football and so were left stunned by Atalanta’s dismantling of Everton with apparent ease. Whilst not boasting any outright super star names in the starting line up, Atalanta are a formidable unit and possess fantastic attacking ability as well as great teamwork and technical ability.
Again, we find ourselves in the rather familiar and well travelled waters of the overrated Premier League arguement. Money money money and more money. It simply paints over the cracks which is all well and good when you’re facing teams who are piecing together their own paper maché squad, but when you face quality opposition built not upon inflated valuations and highly optimistic skill levels but on genuine talent and teamwork the difference is painfully evident. Atalanta didn’t finish 4th in Serie A for no reason but they were hardly given a second thought coming into the match. It was simply a case of Rooney Schumacher and co dispatching the Italians without breaking sweat, but alas, humble pie was on the menu at the Città del Tricolore.
Sigurdsson has recently said that he believes Everton are “good enough” to turn things around but then again he would say that in the hope that he didn’t make a massive cock-up in leaving the team currently sitting in 14th spot for the team in 18th.
Koeman has a lot to do to improve this Everton side and he has to do it fast before the season slips away before his eyes and they are stuck in a dogfight at the bottom of the table. Surely the 13th most valuable club in the world won’t be fighting for survival this season? If their abysmal start is anything to go by then Rooney’s fall from grace will be complete when he’s playing against the likes of Brentford next season - that’s only if he isn’t after signing for the local council after impressing with his litter collection skills.