Next up in our review of the past Everton season is the five worst games of the campaign.
Sadly, there were lots of choices....
It says much about Everton’s 2019-20 season that it is much tougher to whittle down five disappointing results than it is to pick five positive ones.
The whole campaign rarely rose above average, particularly during the dying embers of the Marco Silva era.
That said, I’ve always believed there is a slightly masochistic side to Evertonians, as we often seem to revel in our team’s misery. I suspect it’s a defence mechanism after 25 years of disappointment. If you can’t laugh at Everton’s ineptitude, then I’m not sure how you have got through the last quarter of a century.
Therefore, I take a strange pleasure out of wading through the smouldering wreckage of Everton’s season to pick through the worst five games.
Enjoy (sort of).
Brighton 3-2 Everton, October 26, 2019
Everton had already played considerably worse than they did against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium - think Aston Villa, AFC Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Burnley. But this game goes in for the sheer gut-punching nature of the defeat.
The Toffees looked set for a rare away win when Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 2-1 with 16 minutes remaining, it also would have been the first time Everton had come from behind to win a match under Marco Silva.
Sadly, fate, and some terrible officiating, had other ideas.
Three minutes after taking the lead, Brighton were awarded a penalty after a lengthy VAR check. The replays showed Michael Keane had accidentally trod on Aaron Connolly’s foot. The referee gave nothing at the time, and there were minimal appeals from the Seagulls players, but the spot-kick was given anyway, the first time VAR had awarded a penalty in the Premier League that season. Everton, that. Neal Maupay slammed home the penalty to level the scores.
To stick the knife in still further, Lucas Digne turned Leandro Trossard’s cross into his own net in the fourth minute of stoppage-time to give Brighton all three points.
The Toffees were on their knees.
But to complete the agony, the Premier League later admitted the officials had made a mistake in awarding the penalty and apologised.
Everton 0-2 Norwich, November 23, 2019
Silva could blame misfortune for defeat at Brighton, but he had no such excuse here. Everton were rancid against the bottom-of-the-table Canaries, who thoroughly deserved their 2-0 victory, the only game they won on the road all season.
It was the nadir of the Silva era and, in hindsight, should have spelled the end of his Goodison tenure there and then.
He managed to cling on for a few more weeks, but this was when he passed the point of no return.
Liverpool 5-2 Everton, December 4, 2019
The worst bit about this defeat was that is came as no surprise. Liverpool, flying at the top of the league, breezed past the Toffees without breaking sweat, with Silva’s decision to play a high defensive line against the likes of Sadio Mane ruthlessly exposed.
The only positive was that the manner of the defeat finally brought about change, with Silva almost mercifully received of his duties 24 hours later.
Liverpool 1-0 Everton, January 5, 2020
This was probably the defeat that stung the most. For while December’s Premier League derby defeat was expected, January’s, against a second-string Reds side, was not.
Don’t forget Everton arrived at Anfield in decent form, having been revived first by Duncan Ferguson and then Carlo Ancelotti. They were also taking on a Liverpool side comprised of reserves and U23 players.
They would never have a better chance of ending their Anfield hoodoo. But they presided to turn out one of the most abject performances I have ever seen from a Toffees side. If Carlo wasn’t aware of the task in front of him before, he was now.
Wolves 3-0 Everton, July 12, 2020
Everton did, at least, drag themselves off the floor after that Anfield humiliation, with a five game unbeaten run lifting them up to seventh.
Two defeats from three followed, before the unprecedented shutdown because of coronavirus. The Toffees did harbour faint European hopes when the league restarted in June, though they had been snuffed about by the time they arrived at Molineux to take on Wolves, themselves hunting for a top seven place.
With little riding on the result, you expect a drop off, it’s natural. But Everton simply didn’t turn up. It was embarrassing. The only blessing was that it wasn’t more than 3-0, which was down to luck and poor finishing on Wolves’ part rather than anything Everton mustered.
Ancelotti called the performance “unacceptable” in his post-match interview and I suspect it was confirmation, if it was needed, that a number of those players do not have a long-term future at Goodison Park.
Which was your worst Everton game of the season? Vote in the poll below.
Which was your worst Everton game of the season?
This poll is closed
Brighton 3-2 Everton
Everton 0-2 Norwich
Liverpool 5-2 Everton
Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Wolves 3-0 Everton
(If you can’t see the poll above, click here to go and vote - thanks!)