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Everton Women’s win against Spurs shows Willie Kirk’s process is working

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All of Kirk’s new signings made an impact in today’s win

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Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Everton Women have done it again! The Toffees won decisively at home 3-1 against Spurs and are currently in fourth place. Do you need to be reminded that this is something of a small miracle, considering that last season was so atrocious? Yes, you do!

The Blues now have five wins from seven matches. They only had three wins in all of last season.

But then new manager Willie Kirk brought in six new players, all of whom played today and were crucial to the win.

Lineup:

Everton (4-3-3): Tinja-Riika Korpela; Esme Morgan, Kika van Es, Gabby George, Danielle Turner; Lucy Graham, Molly Pike, Inessa Kaagman; Simone Magill, Chloe Kelly, Maeva Clemaron

Substitutes: Abbey Stringer for Pike 77, Hannah Cain for Simone Magill 85, Taylor Hinds for Morgan 92

All three Everton goalscorers were summer signings. Molly Pike started the scoring off in the 7th minute but check out Dan Turner’s nice bit of skill and beautiful cross to set her up in front of goal:

Spurs made it 1-1 after a defensive error but it was 2-1 before the half when French international Maeva Clemaron headed a corner into a Spur’s midfielder, which then went into the net. Technically, the league is calling this an own goal, however, Everton fans are giving this goal to Clemaron.

Spurs never really tested Everton and only had the one goal on target, while the Blues took 12 shots with 9 on target. The third new signing to score today was captain Lucy Graham with a once touch shot from distance.

It should be noted that Graham was made captain even though she was new to the team and one clue as to why is how she got into the perfect spot, demanded the ball by raising her hands and then confidently slammed the ball into the back of the net. You love to see it:

The changes to the lineup certainly have provided the team with the talent to propel them up the table, but in a recent interviews Kirk spoke candidly about the things behind the scenes that he had to change at the club:

‘I’d heard some negative things about the changing room and the atmosphere around the place and three or four months down the line I did start to feel that myself.”

Crucially, he has successfully “lobbied” the club for the following new amenities for the players:

  • access to the recovery pool
  • laundering for their kits
  • breakfast in addition to lunch
  • their own physiotherapy and boot rooms

These things matter a lot and the club is already seeing a return on their investment with the copious joyful celebrations of a strong WSL side.

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Attendance for the last two league matches:

Everton vs Liverpool at Anfield: 23,500

Everton vs Spurs at Southport: 150

It’s almost as if the marketing, location and convenience of the stadium makes all the difference…….

Next up:

Everton face WSL leaders Chelsea on Sunday, a team that just beat Birmingham 6-0, a result that manager Emma Hayes was still not satisfied with.

Elsewhere in the league:

The WSL seems to have quite a big difference between the top half of the table and the bottom half, with all top sides winning their matches today.