After flickers of hope against Bournemouth and Huddersfield, Everton were found wanting badly against a well-organised and dynamic Wolves side.
But what do the numbers tell us? And could the Blues really be pulled into a relegation scrap?
Everton Dominate… The Match Statistics
But the truth couldn’t be further away
You’ve got to be careful when looking at football statistics. There are numbers for every facet of the game, but they don’t always express what you might expect.
For someone who didn’t see the game, they might look at the numbers: Everton’s hefty 64% possession and having 13 shots to eight, and therefore assume Wolves must have got lucky and caught the dominant Blues on the break.
That isn’t what happened.
Wolves thoroughly outclassed the Blues by being sharp and incisive in attack while solid, compact and composed in defense. They looked like the team Everton hoped to be at the start of the season under their Portuguese manager.
Oh, and, of course, Everton conceded from another set piece – our 11th in Premier League action this season. The joint worst record in the league alongside West Ham.
Midfield three couldn’t match Gueye’s defensive contribution
After this showing, Everton fans should be relieved that Idrissa Gana Gueye didn’t leave the club as expected in January.
The Senegalese midfielder has completed the most tackles in the Premier League this season (just as he did last campaign) and Everton really missed his ability to break up opponents attacks with a midfield three of Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Gueye has averaged 4.2 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game this season, but the three aforementioned players managed just three tackles and three interceptions between them against Wolves.
Passing Accuracy Too HIGH
Everton completed 80% of their passes…
…not because the Blues were flawless in possession, but because they were too slow and unadventurous on the ball.
Once again Everton took too much time on the ball in their own half, allowing Wolves to effortlessly get their players behind the ball ready for the Blues’ meek attempts at breaking them down.
Everton have to start moving ball the much, much quicker through opposition lines.
Kenny Fares Well
Makeshift left-back looked solid
With Baines clearly unfit from the outset, Everton looked more solid with the introduction of Jonjoe Kenny in an unfamiliar left-back role.
It’s hard to see Kenny establishing himself as a first-choice Everton full-back, but this performance showed that he is certainly a capable deputy, putting in a composed and solid performance on the left, before looking more of a threat when switching to right-wing back for the closing stages.
Just 1 Win in 6 at Goodison…
Everton have won just one of their last six home games.
Pressure is rising quickly on Marco Silva, and he needs to turn things around drasticallyin the coming weeks, with Everton playing top six teams for their next five home fixtures. Indeed, with just three away wins so far this season, you’ve got to wonder where Everton’s points are going to come from as the season enters the final straight.
If the current quality of performances continue, Everton won’t pick up more than three points at home before the end of the season. That will put the Blues on 36 points – meaning they’ll need at least four points from their final seven away games just to stave off any fears of relegation. A preposterous proposition if ever there was one considering Everton’s spending in the past couple of years.
That’s obviously a doomsday scenario. But, unless something clicks in this Everton team, the Blues are unlikely to finish in the top half, much less push for seventh.