Everton 1-2 Leicester City – Highlights (FA Cup)

127
Published on 07/01/2017 by playfootball365

Never mind Everton becoming a museum – Goodison was more like a morgue after this.

A smattering of boos greeted the final whistle as Leicester City sent the Blues crashing out of the FA Cup after fighting back from 1-0 down but the wider silence around the ground spoke greater volumes.

Because yet another season will pass this club by without silverware.

The drought will go into a 23rd year before Everton get the opportunity to end their trophy wait but the worry is that rot has set in and the apathy, at the end of this, said a lot for the conflicting emotions Evertonians feel towards the competition.

Make no mistake, this hurt as much as going out in last year’s semi-final because of the manner of defeat as well as the speed from which they went from a position of strength to scrapping to stay in the competition.

Ronald Koeman said he understood why supporters continued to place such stock in winning a trophy for the first time since 1995 but now, after watching his side waste a golden opportunity to progress to the next round whilst also knocking out another Premier League side, he will appreciate it that much better.

It comes with the job description because as well as the priority, as emphasised by Farhad Moshiri this week, remains making Everton into a Premier League force once again, the hunt for silverware cannot suffer.

This club is bigger and better than that. These long suffering fans deserve more.

But this was not a defeat because Koeman made the same mistake twice.

READ MORE

Everton 1-2 Leicester City

Phil Kirkbride’s verdict

Greg O’Keeffe’s analysis

  • Unlike in the League Cup, the Everton manager named his strongest possible team to face Leicester and they let him down.

He didn’t even try to hide his anger afterwards and directed thinly veiled warnings to the board and director of football Steve Walsh at the speed, or lack of it, at which they have made signings so far this month.

Clearly, Koeman expected better on the pitch but better off it as well.

Having broken the deadlock on a dreary Cup tie, when substitute Gerard Deulofeu supplied Romelu Lukaku for a tap-in, his side unravelled.

After Ahmed Musa bundled home the equaliser, Everton parted as wide as Wembley Way to allow the Nigerian striker to make it 2-1 just minutes later.

The Blues’ response was ineffective.

Pretty much how they’ve been this competition for over two decades.

“It’s not bad luck; we did it ourselves,” Koeman said afterwards.

“It’s unbelievable how we dropped back.”

Video thumbnail, Everton fans react to Leicester City FA Cup 3rd Round defeat

Perhaps, in fact, it was totally believable given Everton’s recent history in this competition.

Maybe for Koeman, it was to be expected given he feels as though he is managing the side with hands tied behind his back.

One shareholder took Moshiri to task on his belief that the league needs to take precedence yet the majority shareholder’s logic and the subsequent debate will rage on.

But that had nothing to do with today.

Today was about an Everton side, more than capable of beating a changed Leicester team, being ahead in the game but letting it slip.

It was about the Blues not being good enough.

Everton’s season now is distilled into the race for seventh. The top six, in all likelihood, will not be caught, and seventh has to the optimum the Blues can hope for.

The best of the rest, as Koeman summarised this week.

It would be an improvement on the last two season, of course, and that cannot be ignored. It may even be good enough to see them squeeze into the Europa League.

FA Cup Everton vs Leicester City. Final whistle disappointment Everton’s Ramiro Funes Mori. Photo by Colin Lane

But when Evertonians look back on the campaign, sure they’ll be able to see improvements on the pitch and the early stages of long-term planning, but what, really, will have got them off their seats?

What, truthfully, will have injected an up and down, transitional season with excitement?

A handful of wins? The odd goal to catch the eye?

Certainly not a run in either of the cup competitions.

‘Martinez got us to two cup semis and look where that got us?’ some may argue.

Correct. But, now, and as Koeman talked about himself, expectations are even higher.

The expectation is that Everton now have the muscle to build a squad good enough to jump-start their league form of the past couple of seasons while still going all-out in the cups.

Today, showed they haven’t and it will be why Koeman, after recently admitting he needed to curb his enthusiasm for telling the truth, broke rank following this and spoke his mind.

It will have, at the very least, offered some form of comfort for weary Evertonians who share Moshiri’s vision that their club cannot simply become a football museum.

Category Tag