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5 Telling Stats from Everton’s Toothless 2-0 Defeat to Aston Villa

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What do the numbers tell us about the Blues’ defeat?

Aston Villa v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Everton’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end at Villa Park, but what do the numbers tell us about the Blues defeat?

Are the Blues creating enough chances? Are they just wasteful? Or are they even unlucky? Let’s find out.

Toothless

12 shots… 1 on target

The Blues are really struggling to get the ball heading in the direction of the goal so far this season. In each game so far, Everton seem to have had three or four very good chances but have averaged two shots on target on average – the joint lowest in the league.

While Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s hold up play, quality in the air and athleticism are all commendable, it’s clear he doesn’t have the technical ability or composure to be a lethal Premier League striker any time soon. Simply put, we need our new striker Moise Kean leading the line ASAP.

Punished for late business

New signings have played a total of 234 minutes

Making several transfer moves late in the transfer window frustrates me no end. It leaves your new acquisitions needing a month or so to even get up to speed. This is essentially leaving points on the table – something which Everton seem to do at the start of every season.

Everton’s six ‘new’ players (i.e. not including Andre Gomes who was on loan last season) have played a grand total of 234 minutes this season – meaning they have contributed to less than 10% of Everton’s team total of 2970 minutes so far.

Schneiderlin and Gomes

No key passes for the pair

While the choice to bring on lots of attacking players late on the game seems a natural reaction when behind, it didn’t solve the real problem – it fact, it made it worse by taking off Sigurdsson.

The substitutions effectively left Everton playing a 4-2-4, but the two remaining holding players were unable to bridge the gap between defence and attack – with neither making a key pass throughout the game. Both are very tidy players, but they’re unlikely to find that killer pass when you need it.

Dropping either Sigurdsson into that role, or even directly replacing one of the them with Tom Davies – who is a more progressive player – might have been a better solution.

Possession Heavy

Everton have 65% of the ball

For the third game in a row, Everton dominated possession – meaning they have the fourth highest average possession in the league so far this season (55.6%), with only Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City having seen more of the ball. This could, of course, be offset by Everton having played three “bottom half” teams so far, though.

However, there’s been some talk about Everton’s playing evolving into a more possession-based setup rather than being pressing-focussed, now that Idrissa Gana Gueye has departed.

Moise Kean = Passing Sensation

100% pass success rate for Everton

I mentioned last week that Moise Kean had completed 100% of his passes in his opening two substitute appearances and the prospect did so again at Villa Park – meaning he’s completed all 14 passes he’s attempted in 67 minutes of football, which is quite a stunning achievement for a striker. Only two other players in the league have achieved a 100% pass success rate this season and they’ve only featured for a combined 17 minutes of football.

And it’s not like Moise Kean is playing it unnecessarily safe. His excellent spin and cross found Theo Walcott in acres of space late on, only for the winger to blaze over.

I was disappointed not to see Kean start against Villa, with the Blues having lacked a real attacking edge in recent weeks – and perhaps, by playing it safe with DCL, Marco Silva was in the end punished at Villa Park.

Hopefully we’ll see all the new lads get a start in the EFL Cup against Lincoln in midweek ahead of our toughest test of the season to date when Wolves head to Goodison.

Are Blues Wasteful?

Everton have 3.31 expected goals this season…

But have scored just once.

According the expected goals stat, Everton should have won 1.26 – 0.86 against Aston Villa, suggesting that while the Blues have been wasteful this season, they’re also not creating enough chances.

Yes, there are three or four chances per game, but with just 3.31 expect goals this season – and against lower opposition – this is somewhat concerning. Indeed, only Watford have a greater negative difference between their expected goals (4.14) to their actual goals (1).

The Blues simply need to find their mojo in front of goal– which was in no short supply at the end of 2018/19 – once again.