It very much had the feel of an end-of-season dead-rubber, but the Blues earned another impressive point – although it could have been three – away at Champions League finalists, Spurs.
As usual, I’ll take a look at five of the most telling stats from the game – although I’ll also be looking at some of the numbers from Marco Silva’s first season in charge in general.
A Future for Tosun?
Turkish striker made his first start since early February
With Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin injured for the trip to Spurs’ shiny new stadium, Cenk Tosun got his first Everton start since 9th February – grabbing a goal in the process.
In truth, though, Tosun still looked desperately short of confidence, although there’s clearly no doubt about his effort and desire. If anything, it looks like he’s trying too hard at times.
It’s hard to know what to do with Cenk. On his day, he’s certainly a handy player and a good all-round striker. However, it’s hard to see him getting many games next season as he’s already behind DCL in the pecking order, with another striker hopefully coming in too.
That gives him and Everton two problems: can Silva rebuild his confidence without significant game time? And will he be happy to sit on the bench during his best years?
Once again records least touches of any player
Yes, he scored. But Theo Walcott has a unremarkable knack of having very little impact.
In pretty much every game he has started this season, Walcott has recorded the least touches of any player in a Blue shirt, and it was no different against Spurs, with Theo recording just 33 touches – the least of any starting player on the pitch.
He finished well when presented with a chance, but can the Blues afford to keep playing such a passive player ahead of one of the most promising young wingers in the country in Ademola Lookman?
Which brings us to the next point.
The Kids Aren’t Alright?
Minutes handed to players under 22 drops
Although Everton have drastically reduced the average age of the playing squad, Marco Silva has surprisingly handed relatively few minutes to Everton’s younger players.
Indeed, players aged 22 or under managed just 7230 minutes of Premier League football this season, compared to 7755 minutes last season – with big-money signing Richarlison accounting for 2679 of these minutes.
Even more surprisingly considering Brands and Silva’s promise of youth last summer, Silva didn’t hand any academy player a debut this season.
It seems only Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have been particularly fancied by Silva this season. In the case of Ademola Lookman especially, it’s hard to understand why Silva prefers Theo Walcott ahead of him.
Best Record Against “Big 6” Since 2013/14
Blues earned 12 points in the big games
Thanks to a late season resurgence, Everton managed to collect 12 points from 12 games against the league’s top six teams – the best showing since Roberto Martinez’ first season when we earned 15 points.
While 12 points from 12 games doesn’t exactly sound earth-shattering, this is two points more than Manchester United managed this season (with Everton replacing them in the “top six”).
Aside from the home game at home to Tottenham (and perhaps the two games against Man City), the Blues have generally performed very well – and positively – against these sides, showing that their isn’t really a monumental gap to bridge.
Everton points against the “big six”
2013/14 = 15pts
2014/15 = 7pts
2015/16 = 8pts
2016/17 = 9pts
2017/18 = 4pts
2018/19 = 12pts
Blues score more, concede less and have more points than 2017/18
While it may not have been the season Evertonian’s dreamed of, the Blues did progress slightly in terms of numbers, earning five more points, scoring 10 more goals and conceding 12 less despite finishing in eighth once again.
However, the football Everton played at times this season was a world away from Allardyce-ball, with the squad also looking the most balanced it has in decades.
This is definitely a solid platform for Marco Silva to build upon.