Women's Football

Everton women underline big ambitions with Jean-Luc Vasseur appointment

Jamie Spencer
Former Lyon boss Jean-Luc Vasseur is now in charge at Everton
Former Lyon boss Jean-Luc Vasseur is now in charge at Everton / GABRIEL BOUYS/GettyImages

Everton show no signs of relinquishing their ambitions to challenge the WSL’s biggest clubs with their appointment of Jean-Luc Vasseur as manager.

The Toffees sacked Willie Kirk ahead of the October international break following a disappointing start to the season in which they had been heavily beaten by Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, the very clubs they hoped to get much closer to this season.

Everton have improved considerably since 2018, boosting the squad year on year and rising up the WSL table as a result. The summer of 2021 saw another big window of recruitment, including an undisclosed ‘six figure’ sum for Sweden international Hanna Bennison, underlining the scale of their determination to make Champions League football a reality in the immediate future.

Some onlookers felt that Kirk was harshly treated. The Scottish coach had overseen the improvement since he arrived and couldn’t have asked for a tougher fixture list at the start of the season, facing all of the established ‘big three’ within the opening five games.

Everton have won their two other fixtures against Birmingham and Reading, but perhaps club officials expected much more than no goals scored and 11 conceded against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal – City also won 5-1 in a Continental Cup fixture.

The arrival of Vasseur is a major statement of intent. The Frenchman won the Champions League with Lyon in 2020 and was named Best FIFA Women’s Coach later that year.

He has come in under no illusions as to the demands on him at Everton.

“I have experience in men’s and women’s football and had two outstanding seasons with Lyon. I’ve learned about winning everywhere and I come with the ambition at Everton to build a team that can achieve Champions League qualification,” Vasseur told EvertonTV.

“Everton is a club with big history. I have come here to write new history with my team.”

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