While giving away a 2-0 lead at AFC Bournemouth last weekend was disappointing, the first real frustration of the season came on Saturday, as Everton were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town.
The Goodison Groans returned to L4 having taken a break since May, but was it just a bad day at the office for the Blues or are the cracks of Silva’s reign already starting to show?
Here I’ll take a look at five intriguing stats that should shed some light on where the Blues are at.
Another Corner Conceded
Blues have conceded from 18% of corners faced this season
Marco Silva this week defended his zonal set-up from corners, saying the goals conceded are merely teething problems that have been exasperated by the absence of Morgan Schneiderlin, who he says is key to the system.
However, Schneiderlin was back against Huddersfield and the Blues AGAIN conceded from a corner.
To give you an idea of how big a problem this is for the Toffees, here’s a summary of Everton’s goals conceded this season:
Wolves 1: Direct free-kick
Wolves 2: Header from cross
Saints 1: Conceded from corner
Bournemouth 1: Penalty
Bournemouth 2: Conceded from corner
Rotherham 1: Conceded from corner
Huddersfield: Conceded from corner
On the one hand, Everton have conceded just once from open play so far this term, showing that we’re pretty stable at the back… that is, unless we face a corner. We’ve faced 22 corners this term and conceded four times, meaning we’re conceding on over 18% of our corners.
If you look at it from a more extreme point of view, if Everton hadn’t conceded any goals from corners so far this season, they would be sitting pretty in the top four with three wins and a draw, rather than one win and three draws.
New Boys One of Few Positives
Assist for Digne, solid from Zouma
Richarlison aside, it’s been a slow introduction to Everton’s summer recruits.
But following an impressive performance against Rotherham in midweek, Lucas Digne kept his place for the visit of Huddersfield and was one of the Everton’s best performers, teeing up a tantalising cross for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to convert.
Kurt Zouma also made his first league start for the Blues here and put in a solid display, winning six headers and completing 89.6% of his passes
Goals Galore AGAIN(!)
Every game under Silva has seen both teams score
It’s five out of five for Silva… unfortunately in terms of wins, but both teams scoring in every competitive game under the Portuguese since he took charge of the Blues.
But as we previously discussed, Everton have conceded just once from open play this season, so if the Blues can figure out how to stop conceding from corners, we’ll hopefully discover a few clean sheets this term.
Everton too safe on the ball with 84% pass completion
On the face of it, completing 84% of your passes looks an impressive statistic. But as the old saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” – and too few boys in Blue were willing to risk losing the ball in order to break a stubborn Huddersfield side down.
Facing teams that would sit deep at Goodison Park was one of Roberto Martinez’s greatest problems, and hopefully Marco Silva won’t fall into the same traps.
Everton were slow on the ball and static off it, playing straight into Huddersfield’s hands.
The Blues AREN’T Unlucky
Again we score more goals than expected
This wasn’t one of those games were the Blues peppered Huddersfield but couldn’t break them down. It was a match were Huddersfield brought a simple game plan and Everton had no answers for it.
Other than a couple of red card decisions, Everton haven’t been unlucky this season. The Blues have had an expected goals return of just 3.9, but have managed to score 7 times nonetheless.
On Saturday, Everton again scored more than expected – although that was just once. The Blues were expected to score 0.6 based on the chances created, compared to Huddersfield’s 0.58 – the two lowest totals in the league this week.