All Liverpool fans want their club to be as successful as possible – that goes without saying. Probably second on the list of things that Liverpool fans want from any EPL season is for rivals Everton to be as unsuccessful as possible – and, it seems, they are not the only ones. As revealed by FootballTips.com in a recent survey, Everton are fourth in the list of teams that football fans up and down the country want to see relegated.
Sadly, there are not many football fans around who can actually remember the last time the residents of Goodison Park were relegated, as it happened in 1951 when the Toffeemen finished rock bottom of the old First Division. Even more sadly, Everton only then suffered three seasons in the second tier before bouncing back up, and the club have been in the top flight ever since – indeed, since being one of the founding members of the Football League, Everton have only experienced four seasons outside the top flight, which is a record.
Everton’s last serious dalliance with top flight relegation came in 1994, when they began the final day of the season third from bottom. Needing a point to stay up against Wimbledon at Goodison, by the twenty-minute mark the side had self-destructed, conceding a penalty and an own goal to find themselves two-nil down. Graham Stuart began the comeback on twenty-four with his own spot-kick, then Barry Horne scored his first goal of the season on sixty-seven. Finally Stuart netted his second of the game with around ten minutes to go, and Everton survived.
A large number of football fans it seems would quite like to see Everton endure a fifth season out of the highest tier of English football, and possibly even a longer period. Ten percent of those asked to name the side they’d most like to see relegated this term chose the Toffeemen as their answer – that’s even more than the Welsh side confusingly playing in the English Premier League, Swansea City.
For a period this term Everton looked a good punt to actually plummet out of the EPL trapdoor. After a reasonable start the boys in blue lost six out of eight matches and found themselves in the relegation spots – this despite the re-signing of home-grown hero Wayne Rooney. The nadir came towards the end of October with a dreadful 5-2 capitulation to Arsenal at Goodison, a result that cost the then Everton boss Ronald Koeman his job.
David Unsworth was installed temporarily before the Everton board risked all by putting their faith in an up-and-coming young manager and answer to the quiz question “who had the shortest-ever reign as full-time manager of England”, Sam Allardyce. The sour-faced one set about lifting Everton up the table, and helped oversee a run of only one defeat in ten, sadly securing Everton’s spot as an apparently permanent fixture at ninth in the EPL.
The good news though for both Liverpool fans and those ten percent who voted for Everton in the FootballTips survey is that Big Sam’s side are not mathematically certain to be playing in the EPL next term just yet, although it would take a dreadful string of results from Rooney and company to see them visiting places like Brentford, Bolton and Shrewsbury next season.
Unbelievably, there are three ‘more disliked’ sides in the EPL than Everton. The side most fans would like to see tumble out of the EPL at the end of the 2017-18 campaign are Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. The Selhurst Park men received a whopping twenty-three percent of the vote, putting them ahead of the seemingly already-doomed West Bromwich Albion, whom attracted nineteen percent.
If the FA did decide to relegate teams based on this FootballTips survey as opposed to playing records, then joining Palace and the Baggies in the Championship next term would be Brighton and Hove Albion. Chris Hughton’s Seagulls received fourteen percent of the vote.
Other sides receiving votes were Swansea City (8%), Newcastle United (5%), Leicester City (5%), Watford (4%), West Ham United (4%), Bournemouth (3%), Huddersfield Town (3%), Stoke City (2%) and Southampton (>1%).