Through six league matches, Everton has averaged just one goal per game. That statistic becomes even more worrisome considering that all six goals came in two games. The Toffees have been blanked in four of their six fixtures to start the domestic campaign.
Heavy defeats to Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are expected, but a 1–0 loss to Brighton? The Gulls are in fourth place and have started with four wins and two losses, but the Blues have a much more talented team, on paper.
And that is the crux of the issue plaguing Everton this season; despite an overhauled and pricey roster constructed this summer, the team has largely taken a step back. Consider this: through its first six outings last season, the Merseyside outfit was 4–1–1.
Yes, they didn't play a top team until match week six last year — they have played three to start this season — but the team wasn’t nearly as talented as the 2021/22 rendition of the club. Nine transfers, seven of which were high-profile deals, have not yielded the results the club and its supporters hoped for.
Fortunately for the Toffees, they don’t face a top team for the next month and a half, which should give new Head Coach Jean-Luc Vasseur plenty of time to get his team on the same page and pick up some much-needed points.
"Rome wasn't built in one day. The most important thing is to close the gap, so the next game is very interesting - to see the gap between us and Manchester United."@JeanlucVasseur— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) November 11, 2021
Be there on Sunday: https://t.co/i3dcBkVWdr pic.twitter.com/zMS2HhW6CL
Currently in 10th place in the table, Everton faces fifth-place Manchester United on Sunday at home. Despite the loss of their head coach and several big-name players this summer, the Red Devils have started the season 3–2–1 with wins against Reading and Aston Villa, plus a 2–2 draw with City.
Manager Marc Skinner has relied on Mary Earps in goal, Katie Zelem in midfield and a forward partnership of 22-year-old forwards Ella Toone and Alessia Russo.
There could be easier fixtures for Everton to turn around its season, but Sunday’s affair should be a scrappy one given the state of things at Finch Farm. As the fourth of the so-called big four in women’s football in England, United will be a good yardstick for Vasseur to measure his side with.
On the final match week of last season, the Manchester outfit coasted by Everton, 2–0, with goals from Toone and Kirsty Hanson. The Toffees failed to score against the Red Devils in league competition last year, a trend the team will hope to buck come Sunday.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League, Matchweek 7
Date and start time: Sunday, November 14th at 7:30 a.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. GMT
Stadium: Walton Hall Park, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
How to Watch/Listen
TV: N/A - United States; BBC Two - United Kingdom; Sportsnet - Canada, Optus Sport, Viaplay
*Royal Blue Mersey has affiliate partnerships and may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links provided.