You may have heard that Everton’s season kicks off on Monday. With season previews going up across the wonderful world of the internet, and random transfer rumors still in abundance, the staff at RBM decided to sit down and define our expectations for the coming season. With a decade of David Moyes in charge, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, and we wanted to place the bar before our classic early season dive begins. What follows is a summary and explanation of our beliefs for both David Moyes and the entire team.
This year a successful season would come from finishing in at least the top 7, and ideally the top 6. Perhaps the most important part of our season finish will be to qualify for Europe. This will be our third season out of European competition, and the first step to reaching the top 4 is to get to the Europa League.
In order to do this, Everton is going to have to play better. At RBM we expect Everton to start the season a little more quickly than usual this year. For the most part it seems we have had a completed squad in place for the preseason. While we may add one or two players before deadline day, there shouldn’t be any excuses about the squad needing time to gel. Just getting 30-35 points by Christmas will go a long way towards helping us qualify for Europe.
Everton also needs to actually attack for once, especially against weak teams. Everton has done well in recent seasons against Top 6 sides, but our form against the lower level clubs kills us. Yes there will occasionally be slip ups, but by trying to attack against weaker sides, Everton can expose the weaknesses of these sides. We finally have a quality striker as well as several able backups, time to go for more goals.
Speaking of attacking, the squad needs to show up for Merseyside Derby matches better. There is no reason why we should not win the game when it is played at Goodison, and when the club travels across the park there needs to be more fire in the belly. It is not necessary that they win, but they need to show up and play to win. None of this second half stuff from the FA Cup semifinal game either. I think all fans would be ok with a loss, as long as the team gave a good effort and really tried to win.
In the cup competitions, Everton needs to make at least one deep run. A minimum of a quarterfinal appearance is a must, and getting to the semifinals in one competition would be ideal. Our performance in the League Cup has been abysmal, and there is simply no reason for it. As for the FA Cup, every Evertonian wants to wash the bitter taste of this past season from their mouth. What better way than to lift some silverware.
For David Moyes, it is time he begins to trust the rest of the squad. Everton has a small squad to begin with, and a little squad rotation will help us get the best out of our top players. We also have several young gusy who spent last season on the bench, and letting them get some quality minutes will help their development. Even if these guys turn out to be a bad fit for Everton, their transfer value will rise as scouts get to see what they can do in the first team.
Moyes also needs to improve on his in game substitutions, as well as getting away from the 4-4-1-1. With Cahill gone, there should be more tactical flexibility. There should also be less reluctance from Moyes to make subs. It seems like all of his subs come 10-15 minutes too late to help us out. I am ok with Moyes being a little conservative, but sometimes he borders on being too conservative.
Oh and one thing Moyes already nailed was the transfer window. With at least 2-3 additions all but set, moyes has helped shore up some weaknesses in the squad. The loss of Jack Rodwell is not awful, and the Barkley loan move is a perfect way to season the youngster.
Are these expectations realistic? Perhaps, perhaps not, but if Everton wants to be considered one of the top clubs based on recent success, these are the steps they will need to take.