Normally when Everton lose a football match you want to scratch out your eyeballs and vow never to watch the damn sport again.
That wasn’t the case here, but it doesn’t alleviate the frustration from this end-to-end encounter.
But what can the numbers tell us?
Most total shots in a game this season (38)
First off, before we make this about Everton disappointment, can we just give a nod to how entertaining and end-to-end this game was?
Indeed, Everton registered 15 shots while Leeds United had 23 – for a total of 38 – the most in any Premier League game this season. Somehow, it ended just 1-0.
It’s safe to say Leeds edged this contest, but Everton weren’t without their moments – in particular in the first half when they had two goals disallowed, while Abdoulaye Doucoure had a massive chance that was saved early on.
Everton vs. Leeds combined.— Abdel Rahman (@AbdelBeheri) November 28, 2020
On Target: 15
Big Chances: 6
Most shots and chances in single PL game this season. How did this game end 1-0 #EVELEE #EPL pic.twitter.com/Z2WPhqyP2a
Wide open yet again
Although Everton conceded “just once”, it wasn’t like this was a watertight defensive performance.
Based on goals conceded alone, this was the closest the Blues have come to keeping a clean sheet since the opening day of the season. But, alas, it was not.
Everton played a back three of Godfrey, Keane and Holgate and - although the blame shouldn’t be pointed at any individual performance – it was clear that the Blues look far from secure at the back.
Indeed, this was Everton’s 13th goal conceded from open play this season, with only Fulham having conceded more.
3 CM’s on the bench again – why?
A constant frustration for me at the moment is looking at Everton’s bench.
For the last three games Carlo Ancelotti has selected three out-and-out central midfielders on the bench.
In what situation do you need a choice of three centre mids?
When Everton are looking for a goal, they basically have Bernard and Cenk Tosun to turn to, who, despite having made a combined 46 Premier League appearances from the bench, have provided a total of just three goals and one assist while doing so – not exactly game changing numbers.
Would it really have hurt to have Niels Nkounkou or Anthony Gordon on the bench today if things weren’t going to plan?
Just 32 minutes of action for Anthony Gordon this season
One of Everton’s supposed strategies has been to give academy players (assuming they’re good enough) a route into the first team.
However, despite giving chances to the likes of Anthony Gordon and Jarrod Branthwaite at the end of last season, it seems like the opportunity well has run dry so far this term.
So far, Carlo Ancelotti has given just 32 minutes of Premier League action to teenagers so far this season (all of which were for Anthony Gordon against Southampton).
Indeed, it’s not like Anthony Gordon didn’t impress when given the chance to at the end of last season. He looks a gem. And it’s not like the opportunities haven’t arisen… Carlo opted to played five central midfielders despite having both Richarlison and James Rodriguez out against Newcastle.
If these young players aren’t deemed good enough, fine. But then send them out on loan and get them first team action – don’t leave them rotting on the training ground.
4 Defeats from 5
New season fever is over…
After an explosive start to the season, Everton have returned to their classic state of Everton.
The Blues have one of the most talented assemblies we’ve ever had, yet we’ve been quite comfortably dispatched by the likes of Newcastle, Southampton and Leeds.
Injuries haven’t helped, but this is a side with a lot of supposed strength in depth – if only we could use our cover rather than fit round pegs in square-shaped holes.