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Coming From Behind: Everton’s Battle with Adversity

Everton haven’t won a game they were losing at half-time in more than five years, but it’s a mentality issue Carlo Ancelotti is slowly addressing

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Calvin recently shared the following stat with the Royal Blue Mersey crew: “[Manchester] United have eight away wins this season, came from behind in seven on them!”

And with that incredible record, Everton’s meagre performance in this area came flooding back.

After all, one of my regular features in the 5 Telling Stats I write following games each week was that, under Marco Silva, Everton didn’t once win a league game that they were losing.

So, to see United flying high in that regard, it does make you wonder where Everton would be if they could turn the tables when things aren’t going well.

It’s a real issue with Everton’s mentality, even at times under Carlo Ancelotti. Yet this is no slight at all on the Italian; indeed, things have improved drastically in this respect since Silva’s. This is a long-term Everton problem.

Below is a breakdown of the games (in all competitions) that Everton have won after conceding first in the last five seasons:

Everton Wins After Conceding First

*Premier League unless stated

2020/21: 1 win (West Brom)

2019/20: 2 wins (Watford, Lincoln City (EFL Cup))

2018/19: 0 wins

2017/18: 3 wins (Swansea, Watford, Bournemouth)

2016/17: 3 wins (Arsenal, Middlesbrough, West Brom)

That’s not all. Of those games, only AFC Bournemouth and Watford FC in 2017/18 were won after being behind in the second half. Everton had pegged back their opponents by half-time in the others. The Bournemouth and Watford wins also came after the opposition scored in the second half.

That means that Everton haven’t won a game, in all competitions, that they were losing at half-time for more than five years, when they beat West Bromwich Albion away 3-2 in September 2015. They have been losing at half-time (in the league) on 45 occasions since that West Brom win in 2015. From those 45 games, Everton picked up four points.

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST BROM-EVERTON
Everton’s last win after losing at half-time
Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Ancelotti Improvements

Things have improved dramatically at Everton since Silva’s reign. And the ability to turn things around is one of them.

In Silva’s 53 league games in charge of Everton, he picked up just five points from losing positions. Ancelotti has already comfortable bettered this record in just 36 Premier League matches – picking up 11 points from behind.

Which is some improvement, if still completely not where they need to be. The Blues need to be able to deal with adversity and not surrender after going behind, as they did to the likes of Southampton and Newcastle United earlier this term.

Fortunately, Everton have scored first in 64 per cent of their matches this campaign. But there will come games before the end of the season in which the Blues’ character will be tested and, if we are serious about challenging for Europe and honours, we need to be a little more ‘United’ in adversity, in more ways than one.