Roberto Martinez has been in charge for 18 games now. We are at the traditional halfway mark through the 2013-2014 EPL Season, and once again Everton is in the thick of the hunt for a Champions League berth. Though there will be a bit of unrest after the Boxing Day loss to Sunderland, the Toffees are in prime position. As we have done in previous years, it is time to take a look at how Everton is doing and what that could mean for Everton's success this year.
The table below includes the first and second half points totals for the past 7 seasons. I have also included the Champions League campaign as well as the current season. The final table position has also been included.
|First Half Points
|Second Half Points
A bit shocked? It seems like most Evertonians are quick to forget just how well the club started last year. While Martinez has certainly introduced a much more pleasing style, the end result is more or less the same. 34 points would put Everton on track for around a 71 point season, but if the squad meanders like last year that projected total will drop. I'd throw out an expected points total of 65 points at this stage of the season. As we will look at in the coming days, the schedule sets up nicely for Everton.
The real question is if Everton can get to 70 points. While it isn't guaranteed, almost every club that earns 70 points in a season makes the Champions League the next season. It means the Toffees have to earn 36 points over 20 matches, and it is doable.
Taking a slightly deeper look at the table stats, Everton has really improved in the goals scored and goals allowed categories. The club is set to score 58 goals for the season and concede only 34 based on current form. Last year the club scored 55 goals and conceded 40.
From the book, "Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong," Conceding 10 fewer goals reduces the number of defeats by about 2.5. If Everton ends up conceding 7 fewer goals this season, it should reduce the number of defeats the club suffers by 1-2. That means an additional 2-6 points for the club.
In scoring goals, and extra 3 goals would reduce the number of losses by 1/2 of a loss meaning an extra 1-3 points. If Everton can capitalize on both of these trends then it could mean anything from 3-9 more points added to last year's total. That gets Everton above the magic number.
Really all this means is that Everton is in a good position. The club hasn't won anything, but unlike previous seasons they haven't lost anything. Too often the club has hurt themselves with a poor half of the season. Now it is all about maintaining the good performance of the first half. Continue to have clean sheets and nab a goal or two to get 3 points. Doing that guarantees Everton will stay in the hunt for a top 4 place until May.