Mohamed Salah was enveloped in a haze of red smoke in Goodison ParkHe celebrated his 19th goal in several matches this season.
It was a sign for some Everton Supporters search by their exit with Liverpool 2-0 ahead and Too bad there is no more swollen track record in their favour.
At the end of Gwladys Street, the protest came in the form of a sign bearing the Latin club’s motto of “Nothing but the best is best enough, with a message to the council.”
“We demand Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, it is time for our team as well,” the letter read.
Then the true volume of discontent came to light at the final whistle, with fans throwing verbal bombs at Everton’s board of directors all over the directors’ box, with chairman Bill Kinwright and director of football Marcel Brands particularly in the spotlight.
Farhad Moshiri, the largest shareholder whose fingerprints were scattered in an expensive and extensive mess, was nowhere to be seen. Shock, horror!
The bloated anger extended far beyond suffering the biggest home defeat in the Merseyside derby in 39 years. He climbed above the eight games without a win and bypassed the fact that only two points were taken from the last 24 offered.
The guest party could gloat by chanting Rafael Benitez’s name louder and louder which was very annoying to their counterparts but still far from the point.
Everton followers are stroked by serious mismanagement: around £500m has been spent on a jumble of players huddled under a patchwork of men in the dugout since Moshiri became president.
They fell into the fault of Financial Fair Play, which offered Benitez just £1.7m to correct a mediocre team, and the wisdom of appointing the darling Liverpool boss was waning too much bafflement in and of itself.
There was the economic catastrophe of James Rodriguez’s experiment that only reinforced the question of what the purpose of branding was.
Everton’s Director of Football has been appointed to install a sustainable and modern structure at the club with a focus on smart recruitment and youth development.
The ideal was a model similar to that of Ralf Rangnick that has been successfully implemented at RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg, so it is strange that Everton has canceled a deal for the man who will take temporary charge at Manchester United twice.
It appears that brands do not have sufficient power to shape an identity for the Merseyside family, nor the ability to choose a manager and influence hiring policy.
Everton, at least, has found an innovation: an indirect athlete. Chaos is raging and the anger of the supporters will not disintegrate.
Benitez wasn’t fit, but his dismissal won’t make the bigger problems go away. Without a clear progressive plan, there will be more pain.
Moshiri’s decision-making will not suddenly improve with Brands pushing a button and returning to the revered personality he was when he left Dutch football.
The team can’t apply the effects of TikTok to immediately look like a £500m prospect. There is no way to filter or photoshop the fact that Everton would need fantastic surgery in order to get what looks like a long-term guarantee.
The availability of Dominic Calvert-Lewin would make them even better, but not anywhere near the level they need to strive to reach. The attacker is a guarantee of goals, but he can not evade mismanagement.
Everton must stop looking for excuses or scapegoats and start following a concrete strategy: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.