Welcome to We Love You Everton - A Blog made for fans of Everton Football Club

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

2000 - Current

2000-01 saw a major step back however, and the club once again fell into a relegation battle, not helped by long-term injuries to several key players.

In March 2000 American cable television provider NTL approached the club with a view to purchasing a 9.9% stake in the club.

Everton expected to announce a deal before the beginning of the 2000-01 season, but by October 2000 any chance of an agreement had disappeared leaving Everton with financial difficulties and forced to sell first team players, including Youth Academy products Francis Jeffers and Michael Ball, to balance the books - the board had already spent £18.4 million on purchasing new players including bringing back Duncan Ferguson, on the basis that an agreement was in place.

Around the same time Paul Gregg had been negotiating a deal with United News and Media but this never came to fruition.

The Everton board finally ran out of patience with Smith and he was sacked in March 2002 after an FA Cup exit at Middlesbrough, with Everton still in real danger of relegation.

The David Moyes Era
In March 2002 the board turned to promising young Preston manager David Moyes with the task of moving Everton forward after years of underachievement, and he was able to steer the club to safety in the last few games of the season, finishing 15th.

In Moyes's first full season in charge Everton finished seventh in the Premiership and just missed out on a UEFA Cup place, in a campaign which was dominated by the emergence of brilliant young striker Wayne Rooney, who came to national prominence with a spectacular last-minute winner against league champions Arsenal, becoming the youngest English league goalscorer ever and Everton's youngest ever scorer, and consigning the champions to their first league defeat for almost a year. 2002-03 was Everton's best season since the sixth place finish of 1995-96 and for a while it had even looked like they would qualify for the Champions League.

In the FA Cup the Toffees were on the receiving end of a giant-killing, away to Shrewsbury Town, who were managed by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe and were just four months away from being relegated from the Football League.

The following season's league form was a stark contrast, with the club finishing 17th and accumulating the lowest points total in the club's history. Wayne Rooney handed in a transfer request and was sold to Manchester United in August 2004 for a fee of £23million, with a potential to rise to £30million due to bonus payments for league positions, trophies, international caps and 25% excess sell on fees.

Despite the loss of Rooney Everton's 2004-05 was much more successful and finished fourth in the table, their highest position since 1988, achieving Champions League qualification, ahead of rivals Liverpool.

They played some of their finest football for years, thanks greatly to the 4-5-1 tactic of Moyes and the form of Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen, who was sold to Real Madrid midway through the season. Despite the euphoria of the previous season and the Champions League qualification, Everton started the 2005-06 badly, with their Champions League campaign ending in defeat by Villarreal in the qualifying stages, after referee Pierluigi Collina controversially disallowed an important Everton goal.

After being demoted to the UEFA Cup, they were knocked out by Dinamo Bucharest, who thrashed the English side 5–1 in Romania.

After occupying the Premier League relegation zone throughout October 2005, Everton stopped Chelsea's nine match winning run with a 1-1 draw to spark a short revival that saw the team finally start to get regular results to put much needed points on the board.

However, this was followed by another dismal run including several 4-0 defeats to sides in the bottom half of the table and a one sided derby match.

A 1-0 win at Sunderland on New Year's Eve started a run of five straight Premiership wins and six matches unbeaten including victory against Arsenal- the club's best run of results since the Premiership began which hauled the team away from the relegation zone, and made a top half finish or even Europe a real possibility.

This was not to be as the team remained as inconsistent as ever and a disappointing draw on the last day meant an 11th place finish instead of moving into the top half.

Inconsistency and a shortage of goals let Everton down in 2005-06, and ended their hopes of another European campaign.

Everton began the 2006-07 season well, including a first league win at White Hart Lane in twenty years, followed by a 3-0 win over Liverpool.

The club's transfer record was broken with the signing of Andrew Johnson from Crystal Palace.

At the end of the season Everton were in 6th place and qualified for the following seasons UEFA Cup competition.

During the summer of 2007, the club announced the acquisition of a professional basketball team, called the Everton Tigers, and were entered into the British Basketball League as one of three expansion franchises for the 2007-08 season.
In 2007-08 Everton again broke their transfer record with the signing of Yakubu for £11.25 million from Middlesbrough.

The club reached the group stage of the UEFA Cup, where they went on to win all of their games, including against the eventual winners Zenit St Petersburg.

Having successfully negotiated the next round Everton were knocked out in the last 16 by Fiorentina on penalties.

In the Carling Cup Everton reached the semi-final for the first time in 20 years, losing to Chelsea.

Everton spent much of the season in the top four of the league, but were eventually overtaken by Liverpool and finished 5th, again qualifying for the UEFA Cup.

 The following summer was one of some turmoil for Everton as their failure to gain Government acceptance for their proposed stadium move to Kirkby, the departure of Chief Executive Keith Wyness and the seeming reluctance of Moyes to sign a new contract increased the gloom amongst supporters.

In the last week of the transfer window the club transfer record was broken with the signing of Marouane Fellaini for £15 million from Standard Liege.

Everton failed to qualify for the UEFA Cup group stages as they were eliminated by Liege, with Fellaini ineligible to play against his former team.
Moyes did eventually sign a new 5 year contract with the club, and with it fortunes began to turn.

A strong run in November and December (8 wins and 2 draws in 12 league games) propelled the club to the upper reaches of the league table and raised hopes for another top 6 finish.

In early February, Everton played Liverpool 3 times in quick succession, once in the league (a 1-1 draw at Anfield) and twice in the FA Cup, with Everton ultimately proving victorious in the replay at Goodison Park

Season ending injuries to Yakubu, Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka did not halt Everton's progress and the end of the season saw the team finish in 5th place again in the league on the back of only 3 defeats in 29 matches, to qualify for the following seasons Europa League competition.

Everton did reach their First FA Cup final since 1995 after knocking out Manchester United on penalties in the semi final at Wembley, but were overcome by Chelsea and lost 2-1.

The 2009-10 season began with the club losing their opening 2 home games, including a 6-1 home defeat at the hands of Arsenal and after a long period of speculation Joleon Lescott was sold to Manchester City for £22m.

The club qualified for the group stages of the Europa League, but continued to perform poorly in the league.

League results improved in December 2009, but Everton were knocked out of Europe over two legs by Sporting CP.

At the end of March they set a club record in the Premier League with 7 consecutive home wins, which included victories over title chasers Chelsea and Manchester United.

Everton finished the season in eighth place, just one place and two points adrift of neighbours Liverpool and a place in the UEFA Europa League for the following season.

It was only the second out of six seasons where the Toffees failed to achieve European qualification.
The 2010-11 season began with Everton in poor form.

They failed to win a league game until October, and had been knocked out of the League Cup by Brentford.

However, by the end of that month the situation had stabilized and they were 7th in the table.

In 2012 Everton reached the semi final of the FA Cup again vs Liverpool but were narrowly defeated in the dying minutes when Andy Carroll scored with a late header.

During the 2012-13 season Everton started well and were competing for a spot in the UEFA Champions League almost right until the end of the season. Just when it all looked so good along came the FA Cup!

Everton were beaten at home to Wigan Athletic denying us the chance of a semi final against Millwall and a route back into Europe.

During May 2013 Everton's manager David Moyes decided to leave the club to join Manchester United. His contract was due to expire that summer, although Moyes did intend to stay at Everton the opportunity to take the reigns at Old Trafford was too big a pull to turn down.

The Roberto Martínez Era
Roberto Martínez was appointed Everton's new manager ahead of the 2013-14 Season on the 5th June 2013. He told of his ultimate aim to make Everton a top four club once again but admitted that this could take some time and urged all Everton fans to be patient.

During his first season in charge the Spaniard lead Everton to a 5th place finish and dashing Chairman Bill Kenwright's dream of Champions League football for Everton.

During the summer of 2014 Martinez and Everton managed to pull off one the transfer coups ever when they signed forward Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea after a successful loan spell at Everton the prevous season.

In his second season Martinez could only manage an 11th place finish despite a fairly successful run in the UEFA Europa League competition where Everton fans followed their team in huge unprecedented numbers.

Season 2015-16 saw many tipping Everton for a top half finish pushing for a UEFA Champions League spot however results didn't match some excellent performances and saw the team lingering around mid-table.

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