Can Ronald Koeman be the man to end Everton's dreadful history in the League Cup?
The club have never won the competition - and the Dutman will be the 12th Blues manager to try
Eleven Everton managers have tried – but all have ultimately failed.
Clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and Swansea City have won it this millennium. But amazingly, Everton have still never had their hands on it.
The League Cup is a trophy that has long evaded the Blues.
While many Evertonians have often taken the stance of “it's only the League Cup” the fact a club the size of Everton has never won the competition is staggering to say the least.
It's been 21 years since Dave Watson walked up the steps of the Old Wembley to lift the FA Cup – and the Blues haven't had a sniff of a trophy since.
In that time, Liverpool have won ten trophies if you include the Community Shield. But the League Cup is one that always seems to get away from the Blues.
With new boss Ronald Koeman vowing to take the competition “very seriously”could he be the man to lead the Toffees over the line and end their League Cup drought?
While everyone associated in Blue will hoping Koeman can, there have been plenty of moments of disbelief when it comes to watching Everton in the League Cup over the years.
From defeats to lower league opposition in Bristol Rovers and Oxford United under Walter Smith to David Moyes's weakened teams which left fans scratching their heads in disbelief.
But even as far back as the 1960's, Everton's attitude towards the League Cup was one of disinterest. Under former legendary manager Harry Catterick – the Blues only entered the competition on six occasions in the 12 years he was in charge.
But even when they did enter, Catterick, the man who guided Everton to two First Division Championships, and an FA Cup, only managed at best, the Fourth Round.
He lost as many ties as he won in the competition. Then came Billy Bingham, who, it must be said, despite not being everyone's cup tea fared better.
If given the chance, he could have been the man to gu
Despite reaching the the Semi-finals back in the 1976-77 season – Bingham was denied the chance to lead the Blues out against Bolton Wanders in the semi-finals after being sacked just weeks before the tie.
Steve Burtenshaw took over as caretaker manager following the dismissal of Bingham, and guided the Blues to a 1-1 draw in the first leg against then Second Division Bolton Wanderers thanks to a Duncan McKenzie goal.
The Blues booked their place in the final with a 1-0 win in the second leg under new boss Gordon Lee.
Lee, who had only been in charge for a matter of months, led his side out at Wembley for the final against Aston Villa. But a replay was required at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough after a 0-0 draw at Wembley.
Despite the Blues falling behind through a Roger Kenyon own-goal, Bob Latchford forced a second replay with a strike in the final minute of normal time.
Lee's men, eventually lost the second replay at Old Trafford after a Brian Little double and a Chris Nicholl strike handed the Midlands side a 3-2 win.
Even the Blues' most successful manager tried and failed.
Howard Kendall's first spell in charge was arguably the best time to be an Evertonian. His sides dominated English Football wining two League Championships, an FA Cup and a European Cup Winners Cup – but still, the League Cup evaded the Goodison Park faithful.
Kendall's side did reach the final in 1984, but a lost replay at Maine Road, with Graeme Souness' strike enough to hand arch-rivals Liverpool victory.
Kendall's replacement was his former assistant Colin Harvey – who just like his former boss managed to take the Blues to the semi-finals. But his side lost both legs 1-0 and 3-1 to Arsenal, and a year later he was dismissed after a League Cup defeat to Sheffield United.
Kendall's second spell failed to hit the heights of his first. In a three year spell as boss – Kendall's side crashed out of the competition at the third hurdle on each occasion.
And his predecessor Mike Walker fared no better. In Walker's only League Cup tie as Blues manager, his side crashed out of the competition at the first time asking against Division 1 side Portsmouth - losing the Goodison leg of the tie 3-2 – before drawing the second leg at Fratton Park.
Joe Royle, the man who guided the Blues to FA Cup success and the last manager to win a major trophy for the club was up next.
But he, just like the rest failed. Royle failed to win a game in the competition while Everton manager, with his side bowing out to then Division 1 side Millwall – before a humiliating defeat to Division 2 side York City a year later.
Howard Kendall attempted a third bite at the cherry in 1997 – having taken over from Joe Royle the Blues legend attempted to complete his Everton domestic trophy cabinet.
But just like his previous two attempts, Kendall's side failed in their mission – suffering a 4-1 hammering away at Coventry City in the 3rd round.
While Walter Smith brought some much needed stability to the club during his tenure - the Scot does have the unwanted record of being knocked out of the League Cup by lower league opposition on each occasion.
The lowest defeat of them all, came against Bristol Rovers in 2000. Having drawn both legs 1-1 – penalty misses from Kevin Campbell and Joe-Max-Moore condemned the Toffees to defeat.
David Moyes' time in charge of Everton brought mixed result in the competition.
Despite being beaten by Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds – Moyes most embarrassing moment in the competition came in 2010 when his Blues side were dumped out of the competition, on penalties by Brentford.
But despite the disappointments, the Scot took the Blues closer than any of his six previous counterparts.
His side reached the semi-finals in 2008 but lost both legs 2-1 and 1-0 to Chelsea – meaning it would be another case of 'what if?' for Evertonians.
When Moyes departed for Manchester United, - Roberto Martinez was handed the job and arrived at Goodison Park on the back of guiding Wigan Athletic to the FA Cup after a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final.
And he, like, Moyes was ever so close to to a trip to Wembley and getting his hands on the trophy that had long evaded the club.
In his final season in charge, the Spaniard's side reached the semi-finals and after a 2-1 first leg win over Manchester City at Goodison Park the Blues headed to Etihad full of confidence.
And their confidence was strengthened when Ross Barkley gave the Blues an early lead. But goals from Fernandinho, a controversial Kevin De Bruyne strike followed by a Sergio Aguero header handed City victory and a place in the final.
De Bruyne's strike was the hardest for Evertonian's to take, as Raheem Sterling appeared to run the ball out of play.
But not for the first time in the Blues League Cup history it was a case of another hard luck story to tell.
Koeman will be the Blues twelfth permanent boss to have a crack at ending their League Cup hoodoo when his side take on Yeovil Town tonight.
And should the Dutchman finally be the man to find that all important magic ingredient, he would not only do what the rest before him have failed to do – but establish himself as a Goodison great in the process.
By Connor O'Neill / Echo
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Post by Everton News. on Aug 23, 2016 18:32:23 GMT
Ross Barkley is handed the captain’s armband for tonight’s EFL Cup second-round tie against Yeovil Town.
The Academy graduate leads a side which also includes full debutants Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie.
Romelu Lukaku, as expected, makes his first start of the season after appearing off the bench in the 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Altogether there are five changes to the team named at the Hawthorns, with Aaron Lennon and Bryan Oviedo also coming into the side.
Phil Jagielka is one of the players to make way, dropping down to the bench alongside Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines. Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu are given a complete rest as they don’t feature in the matchday 18.