Everton kicked off their season in mid August with a trip to Ewood Park to play Blackburn Rovers. Everton managed to drop the season opener 1-0 after a rare blunder by Tim Howard resulted in a fairly easy goal. The blunder was definitely an unusual one that occurred when Howard raced off his line to grab a Blackburn through ball. Howard caught the ball and began to spin, but unfortunately the ball slipped from his grasp and landed at the feet of Nikola Kalinic who put the ball into the open net.Despite Howard's error, Everton still did not deserve any points from this match after their attack never really got started.
As part of our offseason coverage here on Royal Blue Mersey, we are going to be taking an in depth look at Everton's season month by month. Today we are taking a look at last August, a time were Evertonian's were riding high and full of optimism after the fantastic end to the 09/10 season. Many pundits and fans felt Everton would contend for a Champions League berth, but from the start of the campaign a familiar tale played out.
Everton's second EPL game came at home against Wolves, and the Toffees were unlucky not to take 3 points from a game they dominated. Tim Cahill scored a brilliant goal at the close of the first half, but Mick McCarthy made a formation change at the half which resulted in much better play from the Wolves side. Sylvian Ebanks-Blake manged to slide the equalizer past Howard on a Wolves counter attack.
Everton's next game game was also their first cup match of the season as they played host to Huddersfield Town. The home team managed a comfortable 5-1 win to secure passage to the third round. Huddersfield put up a good fight in the first half, but after one of their men was sent of midway through the second half, any chance of making the game close ended. Fellaini, Rodwell, Beckford, Osman, and Saha all manged to get on the scoresheet, after Moyes deployed a fairly strong lineup for the match.
To end the month of August, Everton travelled to play Aston Villa in a game that featured two squads who had been able to punch above their weight the past few seasons. In what was emerging as a trend for the entire season, Everton controlled the entire game, even owning possession to the tune of 68%. Unfortunately they were unable to capitalize, and a Luke Young goal gave the home side all three points.
At the end of August, Everton had earned 1 point of 9, scoring one goal and allowing 1 during league play. For those supporters who felt 4th place was a realistic finish this season, the month served as a reminder that once again the Toffees would be in for a hard season, and the only real question would be if and when their form would improve. Check back later in the week for a look at September, and COYB!