Everton’s window of opportunity to climb out of danger continues to close with now
13 12 games left in their season. Manager Frank Lampard is starting to realize the magnitude of the task he has on hand to keep the Blues in the Premier League, and it’s certainly a challenge because he will have also learned that he can’t play an open, expansive game with a high defensive line with the current players he has in his squad.
That first paragraph is taken from this corresponding article written after the Tottenham loss last Monday, let’s see how much more can be directly copy-pasted from that piece because scoreline notwithstanding, the result was the same, no points for the Blues.
Where will the points come from?
The mythical 40-point mark is looking very difficult to achieve, though survival might not even need that many points. Everton will definitely have to beat both Burnley and Watford away — that’ll be quite the achievement considering they have one win on the road all season — and snatch some points or even wins at home against the likes of Brentford and Newcastle, while gathering some points in other games against Leicester City (twice) and Wolves.
Another untouched paragraph from the previous article.
Everton have only won two of their last 21 Premier League games. pic.twitter.com/ldBzSAcLP8— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) March 13, 2022
Could you even imagine things going like this
While no Evertonian went into this season thinking we would be European contenders, even the most pessimistic of us could not have envisaged this season. The Blues have often flirted with the relegation zone, but it’s often in the first half of the campaign, and a few wins usually gets them back on track. Not so this year.
Under Rafa Benitez the Blues did start the season off well, but once injuries started to pile up and the team’s weaknesses got found out, it was all downhill from there. This is by no means an indictment of Lampard who is still trying to implement his playing style, but Everton have only one win and
four five losses in five six league games so far.
Virtually untouched pair of paragraphs.
22 - Everton have 22 points from 26 Premier League matches this season, their lowest ever tally at this stage of any league campaign (assuming 3 pts/win all-time). Duldrums. pic.twitter.com/3qDZelxWum— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 13, 2022
Four Games Without Scoring
Where have all the goals gone?
Looks like I am going to have to do some work after all.
Aside from the Brazil-esque performance against an expansive Leeds United side, Everton have struggled mightily to find the goal in the last few games. With the injuries Lampard has had to deal with along with formation and lineup changes in just about every game, the Toffees are struggling to get shots on goal and consequently, goals.
The Toffees stats for shots on goal and expected goals in the last four games make for depressing reading - 0 (0.30) vs SOU, 2 (0.61) vs MCI, 0 (0.22) vs TOT, 2 (0.38) vs WOL.
Everton have lost each of their last 4 league games without scoring - the first time they have done so since they lost 6 league games in a row without scoring from August to October 2005. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 13, 2022
Fullbacks, Wingbacks, Whatever
Can we stop playing three in the back?
Everton have never looked comfortable with a three-man backline since Michael Keane came to the club. Even without Keane, who was dropped yesterday either due to illness or shocking loss of form, Messrs. Kenny, Holgate and Godfrey didn’t look all that assured and it’s no surprise that the only goal of the game came from a second-ball situation where the defenders lost the people they were supposed to be marking and Conor Coady rose unchallenged to head home.
Wolves moved the ball like accomplished pros in their 3-5-2, and Everton’s four-man midfield with two wingbacks were chasing shadows for the most of the game. A combination of Vitalli Mykolenko and Seamus Coleman was never going to give us the width needed to beat Wolves, and once they had their tails in front switching to a 4-2-3-1 was too late. It’s telling that when Wolves lost three in a row the formation they lost to was... 4-2-3-1 in all three cases.
Everton paid the price of using Jonjoe Kenny out at left back as he threw himself into a couple of rash challenges in the name of exuberance, and was rightly sent off too. He even sandwiched a hopeless shot into the stands between those two bookings.
100 - Jonjoe Kenny received Everton’s 100th Premier League red card; only the second club to be given as many, after Arsenal (101). Bath.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 13, 2022
Resignation Seeping In
Even the Goodison bump seems gone
I don’t know about you, but I am certainly tired of living every moment of this season like it’s our last in the Premier League. For the fans who are still going to games at Goodison Park and following the side around all over the country, I have no idea how you are still doing it.
The atmosphere at the games yesterday was certainly a few notches below the noise levels in the games against Leeds United, Manchester City and Boreham Wood. Everton have been abysmal on the road, and now it seems they can’t get a lift at home either, which only spells all sorts of doom for the club.
The most revealing thing of this afternoon at Goodison Park - and, arguably, the most worrying - was the reaction at the final whistle. There was no overwhelming fury, just a sense that more and more have given up.— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) March 13, 2022
This is the consequence of years of shocking decisions.