To all those who have stuck with me over the course of the season, taking the time to read my thoughts, I thank thee. I am honored and humbled to be able to dump my ideas onto this page for this team. Fandom is a fickle friend. It can be benevolent, unforgiving and deceitful all at once, but that’s the beauty of it all. It might not always be easy at Goodison, but here’s to another year in the books.
Did I think Everton would win this game? No. Did I have the tiniest bit of hope that they could get a positive result and qualify for Europe? Yes. Did I think they would at least keep the game competitive, even in defeat? Absolutely.
As was the case with many of my predictions regarding the Toffees this season, I was way off base; hope springs eternal, I suppose. Do any of the players deserve anything higher than a four-out-of-ten rating in this game? Maybe Jordan Pickford gets cut some slack, mainly because the defense in front of him was so poor. Nothing was more emblematic of the Blues’ season than Gylfi Sigurdsson’s missed penalty in the 36’ — the Icelandic midfielder has netted an embarrassing 66-percent of the penalties he’s taken with the Merseyside outfit (8-for-12). At least Sergio Aguero got a proper sendoff, even if it was at the Toffees’ expense.
What More Could They Have Done?
This seems like a question that reaches far beyond Sunday’s game in Manchester. Everton could have defended better: I’m looking at you, Ben Godfrey. And they could have made better decisions: Where’s Michael Keane? In all honesty, European qualification should not have even come down to the last game at City.
Overall, though, this is a City team whose active roster cost 136 million pounds this season alone. By comparison, the Blues’ squad comes in around 83 million. Man City’s bench could push for the top four, so while Sunday’s defeat was deflating, it wasn’t utterly demoralizing. I guess that’s the bar for supporting Everton these days… There are myriad explanations for the battering the Toffees took over the weekend, but it has now been back-to-back forgettable endings to the past two campaigns — last season ended with a 3–1 defeat to a relegated Bournemouth. Will this team finally achieve a breakthrough next year? We’ll see.
Up and Down the Table
10th place seems fitting for the Blues this season. A quick look up the table reveals wins against Liverpool (at Anfield), Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal (first double in almost 40 years) and Leeds United. Holding a solid record against the teams ahead of you in the table should make for a quality 38 games. The rub with Everton? A glance down the table is almost as frightening as the Blues’ home form this season.
The 10 teams clawing in the bottom half of the league must have loved seeing Carlo Ancelotti’s side on their schedules. The Toffees’ record is littered with losses against Villa, Newcastle (twice), Southampton, Burnley, Fulham and Sheffield United. Interestingly enough, it was a season of beating the teams you’re supposed to lose to and losing the games that should be a manageable three points. Such is the life of an Evertonian.