Everton put in an abysmal performance both in defence and attack to pretty much end any hopes of playing in Europe next season, which even includes the new League Cup equivalent Europa Conference League. A 1-0 loss to already-relegated Sheffield United means that with two games to play for all teams, they remain in eighth and three points (and seven goals) behind seventh-placed West Ham United.
The capitulation, as stark as it was, comes as no surprise to the Toffees fanbase who have grown weary of watching their side plod along in the last couple of months, and put in miserable shift after another especially at Goodison Park. The Blues have one league home win in 2021 and will make it very awkward for Wednesday’s clash against the Wolves with 6,500 (un)lucky fans who will attend the game likely only to heap scorn and derision on this spineless finish to the season.
Certainly manager Carlo Ancelotti was in no mood to mince words after the game.
“We played so bad. The only result that could be possible is a defeat. As we usually did at home most of the time, we lost. I have to take responsibility for this but I hope the players do too.
“We have two games to the end. We lost a great opportunity to have the chance to fight for Europe. We have to do our best to the end. The next one we will have fans and maybe they can help us wake up.”
The Blues are one of the best playing away at quiet grounds, but at their home they’ve been flat, what’s going on?
“It’s difficult to say [why Everton are better away]. When we tried to put quality and build from the back we have more difficulties. We are more comfortable when we play direct but that is not the best style of play.”
Indeed, Everton supporters are suffering the effects of whiplash with the drastic difference between the team’s home and away performances. And as expected, failure to qualify for Europe will likely hamper the club’s activity in the summer transfer window.
“For next season we are going to change. We have to analyse the season. Certain aspects are really good - away we did fantastic results, at home really bad. Double face.
“To be ready for Europe you have to be in Europe. We have to try to win the two games and see if we are in Europe or not. If we are we will build a squad to be in Europe. If we’re not we’ll build a squad to be better in the Premier League.”