Alright, I couldn’t resist. I know every youtuber and their dog have simmed this database to current day at this point, but I wanted to find out specifically what happened to my team. So I’ve simmed all the way up to today…
4th September 2020
After a very successful stint with the Blues between the ages of 7 to 12, I’m casting a look back over the intervening years having turned 29 just last week. I was hopeful of one of two things happening over this 16-and-a-bit year simulation – Either Everton would continue to be a dominant force in English and World football and rack up all the trophies they could carry, or they’d completely crumble, drop down to the First Division and I could take over again, assembling a star-studded squad of former players as my coaching staff, and take them back to glory. Neither happened.
Dave O’Leary (24/06/99 – 29/05/04)
So that we’re all on the same page, I left Everton after 5 years having won 2 domestic titles, 3 domestic trophies and a Champions League trophy.
Eric Gerets (07/07/04 – 29/05/10)
Immediately after my departure, Everton turned to Eric Gerets, formerly of PSV, Spurs, Juve and Bayern. To be fair, he did continue our success (You could argue he bettered it) – Winning a host of domestic cups, 2 Premier League titles and the European Super Cup in his first season. He’s also had the club’s highest win percentage during this save. He was sacked in 2010 though, having guided Everton to a 3rd place finish in the Premier League. How expectations have risen.
Marcello Lippi (23/06/10 – 16/05/12)
After Gerets, decorated Italian Marcello Lippi stepped up to sit on the throne, only to win nothing, finish 3rd and 4th and get himself sacked in 2012.
Claudio Ranieri (21/06/12 – 28/06/17)
Claudio Ranieri was next and unlike his compatriot, he did enjoy some success with the toffees over his 5 year stint at the helm. No league titles, but a handful of domestic trophies and a Champions League/Super Cup combo kept the fans happy before he left for the Valencia job.
Victor Fernández (06/07/17 – 16/12/17)
This is where the hiring strategy starts to smack of the “modern day” a little bit. Fernández was in charge for all of 5 months, but with the Blues struggling to even break into the European spots, he was sacked before Christmas.
Francesco Barletta (Interim 30/12/17 – 27/05/18)
With no solid options available, Everton U23 manager Francesco Barletta took over until the end of the season. Fernández hadn’t left him with an easy job, but unfortunately Francesco’s still a stain on the post-Millennium history of Everton, guiding the team to the unprecedented depths of 9th place in the Premier League.
Fabio Capello (27/05/18 – 11/06/19)
With all bets now seemingly off, Everton went all out in the Summer of 2018 to bring in former Liverpool manager Fabio Capello, yet another Italian. I genuinely wrote a song about this bloke cerca 2010 that included such transcendent lyrics as:
You made some good moves like dropping Walcott, but playing Gerrard on the left, you know you should be fucking shot.
The cash you’re getting’s dirty with a nation at your mercy, so arrivederci, Fabio. Please go.
A bit much perhaps, but this was when he was England manager and was in the wake of that putrid World Cup in South Africa. Emotions were running high. Anyway, he took Everton to 3rd, won nothing and retired. Pretty standard stuff.
Arsène Wenger (19/06/19 – 21/01/20)
You get the idea that the board was running out of ideas at this point. Arsène followed after Fernández’s lead and struggled to crack Europe while bombing out of the Cups. He didn’t last long.
Roberto Yubero (Interim 30/01/20 – 26/05/20)
Again, the job was given to the U23’s Manager for half a season – Roberto Yubero did significantly better than Barletta though, dragging the Blues up to yet another 3rd place finish.
Scot Gemmill (26/05/20 – Present)
Ooooooh yes. Finally, just 3 months ago, a familiar face took the big job. The reign of my former midfield scuttler Scot Gemmill has begun and I’m absolutely delighted. It isn’t just a token appointment either, he’s bloody good! He’s been a manager for 14 years at this point, building his way up through the hierarchy from Wigan, Sheffield United and Brighton to Rangers, Arsenal and Everton. He won a bloody quadruple in Arsenal’s 18/19 season too – Charity Shield, Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. I’m happy that the Blues’ future is in good hands after a less than convincing last few years. After admittedly only 5 games, we’re currently back at the top of the pile where we belong. I hope that he’ll do what no man has done since Gerets and actually keep us there come the end of the season.
Team of the Save
Alright, strap in. I told you last episode that this episode was going to be a long one and we have got a lot of players to catch up with. Let’s start as we nearly always have with Petr Cech.
Petr Cech (09/06/00 – 01/08/17)
What a man. What a myth. What a… Favoured personnel… Really? 17 years and 915 appearances later, he’s a “Favoured personnel” of the club? Christ, what do these people want? I did notice that I’m no longer on any of the favoured personnel lists by the way. We’ll probably get to that later. What a servant Cech was for Everton though. His rate of conceding goals dropped considerably after me and my über aggressive tactics left – In all, Petr let in 838 goals, kept 366 clean sheets and won 148 caps for Czechia. He eventually left for a last big payday with Monaco aged 35 before retiring and becoming an as-yet unemployed technical director. Hero.
Juliano Belletti (04/08/00 – 01/09/02)
Belletti went on to have a really good career, scoring twice in 67 caps for Brazil. He missed out on lifting the Champions League with us of course, but won it twice with the Gunners over a 9 year stay in North London, as well as 2 Worthington Cups. He then finished his career with brief spells with West Ham and back home in Brazil with Palmeiras.
Rio Ferdinand (17/07/01 – 06/06/15)
Rio never looked back from the Blues and is the first on our list of new Everton legends. He scored 55 goals in 731 appearances before retiring in 2015, which means he didn’t keep up his great goalscoring record and actually only scored 30 goals in his last 11 seasons, which is a shame. He ended his career in style though, winning a 2nd Champions League under Ranieri as his send-off. 115 caps for England.
David Unsworth (1990 – 18/08/97, 22/08/98 – 21/06/06)
The former captain lasted a couple more seasons after I left and overall scored 88 goals in 409 games for the club. He went on to have a quick spell at Blackburn, saw his career out with a few years at Chelsea and then bizarrely, stayed in football just long enough to take the Great Britain U23’s team to the Final of the Olympic Games, where they lost to the Netherlands and David decided that coaching wasn’t for him. Good effort though. 7 England caps. Everton legend.
Maxwell (09/06/02 – 09/07/12)
Maxwell had a fantastic career, winning trophies everywhere he went. After an 11 year stint in which he scored 75 goals and assisted another 100 in 485 games for Everton, he moved to Barcelona, after which he went back to Brazil to finish an obscenely decorated career with Corinthians. After winning so much with the Blues especially, I’m kind of disappointed that he’s not even a favoured personnel of the club. What a servant. 110 caps and 5 goals for Brazil.
Frank Lampard (17/07/02 – 12/06/15)
Like Ferdinand, Lampard stayed at Goodison for the rest of his career, making 629 appearances, scoring 80 goals and setting up 196 more. He was so consistent all the way through his career, only dropping below a 7.00 average rating in the 13/14 season (6.99) and the 14/15 season (6.76), when he was in his mid 30’s and mainly used as a substitute. He’s looking very good as a managerial prospect and has spent 5 years so far in charge of Dundee U18’s. 21 goals in 126 England caps. Everton icon.
David Beckham (01/09/02 – 05/07/10)
Becks gave us the best years of his career, scoring 41 and assisting 153 in 419 appearances, before moving to Newcastle in 2010. In 06/07 he actually managed 31 assists in a single season, bettering any return even Aimar ever gave us. Not a bad signing in the end. 11 goals in 99 England caps.
Pablo Aimar (09/06/00 – 10/06/15)
Even amidst all of the constant transfer speculation, Aimar saw out his career with the blues. Interestingly it seems like after I left, he became more of a goalscorer and less of a creator – 649 games, 296 goals, 244 assists overall. 36 goals in 108 Argentina caps. Everton icon.
Juan Roman Riquelme (01/01/01 – 25/07/05)
Riquelme didn’t stick around long after I left sadly, but actually made his home in Milan, spending the final 10 years of his career there. For Everton, he made 181 appearances, scored 42 goals and set up 54 more. For Argentina he scored 46 in 145.
Tomasz Radzinski (31/01/00 – 01/01/06)
Even when he hung up his boots at 35, Radzinski was fairly quick and still weirdly good at marking for a striker. After finally leaving us in 2006, he had a spell in Portugal with Sporting and then retired to become a scout. He’s currently with Manchester City but he has also worked with Coventry, Rangers and Everton! Good lad. 137 goals and 60 assists in 197 appearances for the toffees, which means on average he was involved in exactly 1 goal per game. What a machine. 30 goals in 79 Poland caps. Everton legend.
Christian Vieri (22/07/01 – 01/06/09)
I did not think when I signed Vieri that the club would get 8 years out of him, but he spent the best and last years of his career with us before retiring in 2009. 344 appearances, 240 goals, 56 assists. He really did end up overtaking Radzinski and then some, didn’t he. Still somehow only became an Everton icon though. 68 goals in 96 Italy caps.
Thomas Myhre (24/06/99 – 12/07/01)
Myhre had a decent career after leaving us in 2001, having spells with Schalke, Hannover and Galatasaray before retiring at 36. He never did win anything other than the FA Cup in our first season though. 71 caps for Norway.
Maicon (09/06/02 – 12/07/06)
Maicon barely played again for Everton after I left, which is a shame as he’s a player I never really managed to get going for us, mainly due to injuries. He had spells in Germany, Brazil and Belgium with a couple of Spanish loans thrown in for colour, before seeing out his playing career in Ukraine with Dinamo Kyiv. His managerial career’s off to a rocky start, having taken over at Operário Atlético Clube in the Brazilian lower leagues and winning 33% of his 24 matches before leaving. 85 appearances for Everton, 4 goals, 7 assists. Never capped for Brazil.
Richard Dunne (01/07/97 – 31/01/05, 21/06/08 – 11/07/09)
Dunne was another that turned into a bit of a journeyman, leaving for Napoli as soon as I was out the door. From there he went to Real Betis, back to Everton, then to Real Madrid, Juventus, back to Napoli and then finally Al-Ahli, retiring at 34. 196 Everton appearances, 18 goals. 4 goals in 80 Ireland caps.
Richard Gough (24/06/99 – 22/06/01)
Gough retired after my 2nd season at the club but he’s gone on to have a pretty impressive coaching career as the assistant manager of Bolton, Barnsley and Kilmarnock and the caretaker manager of the latter 2. 6 goals in 63 caps. Probably a future manager.
Michael Ball (01/07/96 – 27/07/06)
Ball had a great career. After I resigned he had loan spells with Valencia and Newcastle, then he joined Valencia permanently. After 6 years in Spain, he had a succession of 2 year stints with Sporting Lisbon, Man City, Chelsea and Bournemouth, before eventually retiring last Summer aged 39. Good effort. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that his managerial career is going nowhere though. 232 appearances for us, 12 goals, 34 assists. 42 caps for England.
Hidetoshi Nakata (01/07/01 – 27/08/02)
Nakata went on to be a staple of that Barcelona team for 8 years, before having quick spells with Leeds, Roma and Fenerbahce to finish his career. Good player, shouldn’t have sold him. Shockingly, 6 goals in 15 caps for Japan. That’s got to be some weird glitch with the database, he should have played 100+ times for them.
John Collins (07/08/98 – 30/06/01)
John had a lovely old time after leaving Everton, seeing out his career with spells in Mallorca and Nice. He’s probably still sunning it up there now and good on him. 78 caps for Scotland, 15 goals.
Fabián Zapata (09/06/01 – 07/07/10)
And finally we come to someone whose playing career is still going strong. My first team was really quite old when you think about it, wasn’t it? Zapata became an important member of the Everton squad for years before finally moving to Real Madrid in 2010 for £30.5M. He stayed in the Spanish capital for 7 years before getting a free transfer to Arsenal, after which he’s spent the last 3 years with Reims in France. At 37, he’s currently got no plans to retire. 377 appearances for the Blues, 58 goals, 74 assists. 15 goals in 75 Colombia caps.
Nick Barmby (02/11/96 – 01/02/07)
Nick had a fine career, having a couple of spells at Chelsea and one at Southampton. He made a lot of appearances, won a lot of trophies and probably never made a young boy cry betrayed tears over his Nick-Barmby-themed birthday cake. See, that wasn’t hard, was it? You fucking dick. 262 appearances, 62 goals, 37 assists. 14 goals in 63 England caps.
Kevin Campbell (24/06/99 – 12/01/03)
Super Kev only lasted a couple of seasons with Torino before disappearing off the footballing stage for good. What a man, though. Should’ve won at least 1 England cap.
Francis Jeffers (01/07/97 – 17/06/09)
Franny stayed and banged the goals in for Everton until 2009, when he finally fulfilled his destiny and joined Arsenal, throwing away the remainder of his career. He had a halfdecent couple of years in London, then a poor year with Celta Vigo, before retiring aged just 32. Oh, Franny. Nevertheless, he made 387 appearances for Everton in all, scoring 181 goals and assisting 49 more. 7 caps for England, still just 1 goal. Everton icon.
Joel Edmondson (15/01/99 – 01/09/07)
Joel’s had a pretty disappointing career, having had so much potential when we last saw him. He’s been one of those keepers that’s a number 2 nearly everywhere he goes. He’s had a couple of seasons as a Premier League first choice here and there for the likes of Middlesbrough, Derby and Man City, but he could have been so much more. Never capped at senior level by England.
Julián Rivera (01/01/02 – 12/07/04)
But holy shit, come join me on the opposite end of the scale for a second. I did say in episode 5 that this lad had the potential to oust Petr Cech but I didn’t quite see him becoming Barcelona’s starting goalie for 16 seasons and counting! He moved to La Liga for £27.5M right after I left and I’d say Barca have definitely got value for money there. 193 caps for Colombia. What a career.
James Biggins (08/01/00 – 31/07/05)
James hasn’t had quite as impressive a career, but at least he didn’t have to retire young in this universe. He’s consistently hovered in the First and Second Divisions with the likes of Barnsley, Birmingham, Palace, Swansea and Preston and is still going strong at 35. No senior England caps.
Leighton Baines (24/06/99 – 01/07/09)
Leighton never broke into Everton’s first team, but he’s still had a hell of a career, spending time with Rangers, a long spell at Schalke, then Newcastle, Middlesbrough and now Real Valladolid. The years and injuries haven’t been kind to him and physically he’s fallen off a cliff, but even with damaged achilles tendons, he’s got no plans to stop yet. 32 England caps.
Richard Brown (07/08/97 – 23/07/05)
Richard didn’t really manage to break into Everton’s first team either, but had a great Premier League career with Middlesbrough, Arsenal and Brentford, before finishing his career with Charlton in the First Division. He’s currently looking for work as an assistant manager but he’s not going to find any. Never capped by England.
Sadettin Sanli (06/07/02 – 27/07/08)
Another who didn’t fulfil his potential on this list. Sanli had 1 extremely poor season as a consistent sub for Everton in 07/08 but otherwise has bounced around everywhere before retiring this summer. After loan spells in Turkey, USA, Germany and Spain, he had short stints with Blackburn and Leicester before having a pretty good 5 year spell with Lokomotiv Moscow, a year with Lazio, 2 seasons with Stade de Reims and a final 3 seasons with Shabab Al-Ahli. To be fair, he did make 120 appearances for Turkey, scoring 6 goals.
James Vaughan (01/07/02 – 30/06/08)
Vaughan’s had a bit of a weird one. He didn’t manage to find much playing time with the Blues, so went to Derby and helped promote and cement them as a Premier League team instead. After that he played most of his career in France with Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice. He’s just moved to Austria to join LASK. Nil caps.
Wayne Rooney (01/07/00 – Present)
Imagine a World where Nick Barmby can walk freely through the streets of Liverpool, Franny Jeffers waited until the tail end of his career before fucking it up and Wayne Rooney is still at Everton aged 34. We really ended up in the darkest timeline from an Everton fan’s point of view, didn’t we. Overall, the prodigal son’s made 886 appearances for his boyhood club, scoring 453 goals and assisting 112 more. He even shattered Christian Vieri’s record by scoring an insane 49 goals in his fabled 07/08 season. A mere Everton icon, which makes no fucking sense. 47 goals in 142 England caps.
Victor Anichebe (01/07/02 – 01/09/05)
Anichebe’s had a good solid career, but not with us. He spent 7 years in Middlesbrough after an £11M move, then 8 years at Fenerbahce after a £6.5M move. He’s just made a free transfer to Salernitana in Serie A. 20 goals in 70 Nigeria caps. Good lad, Victor.
Luke Marriott (27/10/97 – 01/07/07)
To say that Luke’s playing career was god awful, his coaching career’s actually started off very promisingly. He had a good solid 4 year playing spell with Bristol City in the First Division, then went and made 0 appearances for Toronto FC over his 5 years there, then had a decent 3 year spell with Braunschweig in the Bundesliga 2. He’s fallen on his feet after retirement though and has instantly got a job as Dundee Utd’s U18 manager, where he’ll rival Frank Lampard. Why not.
Stein Huysegems (01/01/00 – 07/08/04)
Huysegems had a bit of an erratic career. After many loan spells while with Everton, he eventually left for Inter Milan, Hertha Berlin, Man City and eventually Chinese club Henan Jianye, where he became a club icon. 7 goals in 15 Belgium caps.
And that’s it. I’m fully satiated with this save and I can’t think of a single other thing to do with it. Great job reading all the way to the end if you have done, to be honest this episode was mainly for me. I love shit like this. Again, thank you for reading. Hope you’ve enjoyed the deep dive into these players’ alternative lives and I’ll see you soon.