Everton are a club who have consistently knocked on the door of the top-six ever since David Moyes led the club to a 4th place finish in the 2004/05 season, but the Premier League is a different animal to what it was 13 years ago.
Everton’s tally of 61 points in May 2005 saw them finish 3 points ahead of Liverpool to give the Toffees faithful a summer full of bragging rights and supremacy on Merseyside.
Since then Everton have finished 5th on three separate occasions, but a top-four finish continues to elude them.
As money has piled into English football Everton have found themselves suffering a crisis of identity with the Champions League places seemingly unreachable, so what is there to play for?
Well, Jordan Pickford is refusing to give up on the dream of reaching Europe’s most prestigious knockout competitions as he told The Guardian: “The club has a project to go forward and everyone knows that means reaching the Champions League.
That will take a lot of hard work but we are willing to put it in. I don’t know how long it might take but looking ahead you have to be ambitious enough to be trying to hit the top four.”
Pickford’s ambition is admirable and exactly what the supporters want to hear, but Everton are so far away from breaching the top-four.
The problem for Everton is that they are stuck in no mans land with no realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League or being dragged into a relegation scrap.
That leaves them with the aim of qualifying for the Europa League, but Europa League football does not carry the same level of glamour which it’s bigger brother possesses and qualification for the competition is typically viewed as a hindrance rather than an achievement.
Naturally, the long-term aim has to be to qualify for the Champions League but, in an era when there are clearly six teams vying for the top-four places who are a class above the rest, it looks like an impossible task for Marco Silva to complete.
At this moment in time Silva, Pickford and the rest of Everton’s squad need to focus on short-term results and building some momentum because European nights in the world’s most awe-inspiring footballing cathedrals are incomprehensible for the club in their current condition.
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