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v Arsenal

Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

Joe Royle

Joe Royle

November 1994 to March 1997
After parting company with Mike Walker, the Everton board brought back an ex-player turned manager in an attempt to restore the Club's confidence.

Arriving from a 12-year stint managing Oldham, Royle was placed in charge of a team with only a single League victory all season and languishing in bottom place in the Premiership table.

A superb win in the Merseyside derby began a period in which Royle set about restoring the Club's confidence in the players, and more importantly the players' confidence in themselves.

The season saw the Blues gradually climbing the table away from the relegation zone and then, contrary to all expectations, managing to lift the FA Cup and the Charity Shield in 1995.

With the acquisition of Manchester United star Andrei Kanchelskis early in the 1995-1996 season, Club hopes soared to new heights, and finishing sixth in the League seemed to support indications that once again the club was on the rise.

Unfortunately for Royle, more injury crises dawned, and the acquisition of big name players such as Gary Speed and Nick Barmby could not stop the slide down the table.

Kanchelskis left for Fiorentina in an £8m move, as the Blues moved from being European candidates to relegation contenders once again.

The final straw for Royle came when attempts to re-sign Barry Horne and acquire two Norwegian players were vetoed.

Royle resigned on March 27, 1997, with six games of the season to go and the Blues just four points above the drop zone.

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