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Toffees Teasers: The 2017-18 season recap

Some stories behind the questions from the Sunday quiz

Everton v Southampton - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Over the last few of Sundays we’ve been doing an Everton-themed trivia, looking at each season at a time. We first looked at the 2019-20 season, then the 2018-19 season (quiz recap) and last weekend was the 2017-18 season quiz.

As we delve further and further into history though, memories will continue to fail us hence this recap article where we’ll dig a little deeper into the questions and the stories behind them, today looking at the 2017-18 season.

1. Which two summer signings did Everton announce on the same day in June 2017?

In case you needed a reminder (how could we forget?), this was that famous summer of spending that continues to hamstring us three years on. Two of the highest profile signings of the ten that summer were made on the same day, with goalie Jordan Pickford (£30m) and midfielder Davy Klaassen (£24m) both joining the Blues. Klaassen was an unmitigated flop and left for Werder Bremen for £12m while the England #1 is still a Toffee but has endured an up-and-down season so far.

2. Who scored in the first minute of Everton’s only home pre-season friendly that year, a 2-2 draw with Sevilla?

Speaking of unmitigated flops, Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez would like you to not forget that he remains on the Blues’ books. After a flash-in-the-pan season for Malaga when he banged in 16 goals, the Toffees paid off his inexpensive release clause and brought him to Everton. Things did not quite work out on Merseyside for the forward though, scoring just the one goal for the Blues in 16 competitive appearances, but his first goal was in the preseason friendly against Sevilla.

3. Everton entered the 2017-18 Europa League at the third qualifying stage in late July. Who were their first opponents?

Everton played against Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok, struggling to beat them twice in identical 1-0 wins, the first secured from a deflected shot by Leighton Baines and the return leg away finally put to bed in the 80th minute after a Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal.

4. Which of the following teams did Everton not face in their first six league matches of 2017-18?

The Blues faced a murderers’ row of opponents to start the season, playing all of the top three from the previous season in their first four games: H - Stoke City (13th), A - Manchester City (3rd), A - Chelsea (1st), H - Tottenham Hotspur (2nd), A - Manchester United (6th), & H - AFC Bournemouth (9th).

5. Ronald Koeman was sacked in mid-October after nine league games. How many points did Everton have at that point of the season?

The Dutchman was sent packing after a humbling 5-2 loss at home to Arsenal, following thrashings by Chelsea, Spurs & United where they failed to score. They had just the eight points from two wins over Stoke and Bournemouth, and two draws against City and Brighton.

Everton’s first nine games of the 2017-18 season

6. Which opposition player (who has also represented Everton in his career) missed a 101st-minute penalty in a dramatic Blues win during David Unsworth’s caretaker spell?

The Blues and Watford FC have had a few pitched battles against each other in recent seasons. During the 2017-18 season when the Hornets were flying high under Marco Silva, Richarlison and Christian Kabasele put them ahead at Goodison Park at the hour mark, put a stirring comeback via Oumar Niasse and Calvert-Lewin tied things up with fifteen minutes left to play.

Then in time added on Aaron Lennon was hauled down in the box and Baines stepped up to dispatch the penalty, surely the winner? Well the drama didn’t end there as Watford threw everything they had at the Blues and won a penalty after Richarlison was hacked down by Pickford at a goalmouth melee. Former Blue Tom Cleverley stepped up to take the spotkick in the eleventh minute of time added on to get a share of the spoils..

7. Contrary to what Sam Allardyce has publicly stated, what position were Everton when he was appointed Koeman’s replacement on November 30, 2017?

Big Sam likes to believe the narrative that he lifted the Blues out of the relegation zone, but in truth when he took to the pitch for his first game against Huddersfield, the Blues were sitting in 13th place. They had been in 16th when they beat West Ham United 4-0 at Goodison in Unsworth’s final game in charge, with Allardyce in the director’s box.

8. Who were the first team to beat Everton during Allardyce’s tenure?

While the football was unbearable dull when Big Sam took over (see #9 below), there was no doubt that his stodgy tactics did make the Blues difficult to beat. The first loss under him came after seven league games, an 88th minute winner from Ryan Fraser away at Bournemouth.

9. What was significant about Everton’s third Premier League game of 2018, a 1-1 home draw with West Brom on January 20?

The Toffees started off 2018 with three straight losses, 2-0 against United, 4-0 at Spurs and a 2-1 Derby loss in the FA Cup. However, what was significant in those two league losses was that the Blues had 12 shots against the Red Devils and 7 against Tottenham, but not a single one on target.

10. Which Everton performance did Allardyce label as ‘pathetic’ and ‘unacceptable’?

Arsenal’s expansive style was too much for the Toffees in that season, first the 5-2 win during Koeman’s tenure and then a 5-1 spanking at the Emirates. The Blues were insipid and uninspired, and found themselves down three goals by the 19th minute, with the Gunners looking to run up the score. DCL was able to pull one back in the second half, but Aaron Ramsey got his hattrick with the hosts’ fifth late on.

11. Who was sent off in Everton’s 2-1 defeat at Burnley in March 2018, in what proved his final appearance for the club?

The Blues had signed Ashley Williams to bolster their backline the previous year, but his age seemed to tell particularly in the 2017-18 season and he deteriorated rapidly during that campaign. The Wales captain ended up getting sent off against the Clarets and never played for the Blues again.

Burnley v Everton - Premier League - Turf Moor
Everton’s Ashley Williams (centre) receives a red card from Referee Chris Kavanagh
Photo by Dave Thompson/PA Images via Getty Images

12. How many points did Everton take off the three newly-promoted sides that season (Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle and Huddersfield Town)?

Despite struggling mightily against the top six sides, Everton were able to finish in the top half that season thanks to feasting on minnows, picking up 16 of 18 points against the trio: BHA away 1-1 & home 2-0, NEW away 1-0 & home 1-0, HUD home 2-0 & away 2-0.

13. Which of these teams did Everton beat home and away in the league in 2017-18?

The Blues finished in 8th that season with 13 wins, but six of them were from three teams - Huddersfield, Newcastle and Stoke City.

14. How long after the final-day defeat at West Ham did Everton sack Allardyce?

The Blues ended the season at the London Stadium with Burnley five points clear in seventh and nothing to play for. The hosts won 3-1 from a Manuel Lanzini brace and Marko Arnautovic with Oumar Niasse getting his eighth of the season. Allardyce’s sacking was expected, but it still took the Blues three days to get their affairs in order before they cut him loose.

15. How many players made Everton first team debuts during the 2017-18 season?

Considering the Blues signed ten players and with a European campaign as well as short stints in both Cups, the Blues went through a ridiculous number of players that season, with 17 of them making debuts - Pickford, Michael Keane, Cuco Martina, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Nikola Vlasic, Theo Walcott, Sandro, Cenk Tosun, Eliaquim Mangala (loan), and youngsters Beni Baningime, Morgan Feeney, Harry Charsley, Fraser Hornby, Anthony Gordon, Alex Denny, and Nathan Broadhead.