A predictable pattern emerged against a lowly Premier League side on Saturday. So what do the numbers tell us about the defeat?
No Early Goals = No Win
Everton’s last eight wins have come after scoring in first 20 minutes
Walking into Goodison Park before the game, I said “if we’ve not scored in the first 20 minutes, we may as well just go back to the bar”. We didn’t score in the first 20 minutes… and, alas, I wish I’d gone to get another beer.
Indeed, we don’t win if we don’t score early.
Our last eight wins have seen us open the scoring in the first 20 minutes.
Concede First = No Win
Everton haven’t won after conceding first in the league under Silva
And there’s only one sign worse than us not scoring early… the other team scoring first.
Everton still haven’t won a single league game under Silva in which we’ve conceded first. This is a truly terrible record.
For any non-elite team looking to pick up points at Goodison, there’s a very simple blueprint that is pretty much guaranteed to work:
· Don’t concede in the first 20 minutes
· Kill the tempo
· Get players behind the ball and break whenever possible.
This is nothing new. It’s been a feature of games at Goodison since the Roberto Martinez era, but it is a formula that is exasperated under “ball-playing” managers like Martinez and Silva, rather than the pragmatic heads of Koeman and Allardyce.
Koeman home record tops the chart this decade
A look at Everton’s home record over the past decade shows some interesting differences between the managers.
The pragmatic heads of Koeman and Allardyce were great at picking up home points against the league’s non-elite sides, but were desperately poor at getting results against Sky’s so-called “big six”. That said, Ronald Koeman still picked up the most points at home on average (aside from Unsworth, who has won all three of his Goodison games).
Marco Silva and Roberto Martinez faired better against the top sides, but significantly worse against the rest of the league.
But one of the most surprising discoveries was David Moyes’ excellent home record against the “big six” in his final three seasons in charge – with the Scot earning an excellent average of 1.8 points against these sides at home.
However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t include performance against away sides – with Moyes not picking up a single league win away at Arsenal, United, Chelsea or Liverpool in 11 years in charge.
Too little, too late
As previously mentioned, it’s key for Marco Silva’s Blues to come out of the gates with all guns blazing if they want to win the game. But that is not what happened against Norwich.
The Blues were slow and lethargic on the ball, with Norwich slowing down the tempo and flow of the game wherever possible – which is the optimal strategy to follow for any visiting non-elite team to Goodison.
And a glimpse at the first half action zones showed Everton’s predicament – the ball spent more time in Everton’s defensive third than in Norwich’s in the first half. The Blues improved on this in the second half, but this was more an act of desperation than anything – leaving the Everton defence open to several Norwich counter attacks which were suitably punished.
Where’s the Press Gone?
Ball won just five times in Norwich’s half
In the latter stages of the first half, Everton’s forward players attempted a press and it woke up the ground. The Goodison faithful love putting pressure on the opposition, but Marco Silva’s “high-pressing” seems to be an increasing rarity. The reason for this isn’t clear. We’re effective when we do it, but against Norwich, the Blues won the ball in the final third just five times – a far cry from the nine successes achieved in last season’s win over Burnley.