Everton’s window of opportunity to climb out of danger continues to close with now 13 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.
Tottenham, one of the fastest and best counterattacking teams in the league took his side to the cleaners yesterday on Monday night football, breaching the backline time and again and it is only by a minor miracle that the rampant Spurs side didn’t clock up a double-digit goal tally.
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.
19 games is half a season - two wins and three draws for nine points in half a season... how will Lampard motivate his players again after the demoralizing defeat yesterday?
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 losses in five league games so far.
Everton have earned just 22 points so far this season. Adjusted to 3 points for a win, this is their worst ever points tally after 25 league games. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 7, 2022
Avalanche of Goals
Conceding goals in bunches
This pre-dates Lampard’s time here at Everton, but when the Blues concede once, especially early and away from home, the goals tend to come thick and fast after that. This really feels like a psychological issue because the spine of the team has been consistent for a few years in its absence. No one does feeling sorry for themselves more than the likes of Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and the rest of the team.
This is the eighth time in five years that Everton have lost by five goals or more; it happened to Koeman (twice), Allardyce, Silva (twice), Ancelotti, Benitez and now Lampard.— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) March 7, 2022
Eight takes them past Burnley (seven) for defeats by 5+ goals
*Dominic King corrected himself in a later tweet to indicate the stat should read “conceded five goals or more”
Watching Coleman is just torture right now
After the game Sky Sports analyst and former Red Jamie Carragher belied his boyhood Everton roots to gleefully proclaim that the Everton defence was barely Championship standard. He was not wrong, on the basis of a number of displays this season.
Seamus Coleman is simply not capable of playing more than a game every two or three weeks, and apart from failing physically, positionally he’s become a liability too. Jonjoe Kenny has looked serviceable in recent weeks but was awful yesterday. Mason Holgate and Michael Keane as a centrehalf pairing are quickly contending as one of the worst duos in the entire league, and were brutally exposed by Lampard choosing to play a high line yesterday.
Going back to the fullbacks though - if Vitalii Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson are not ready to start right now in the Premier League, then who in heaven’s name signed off on the two purchases in January knowing fully well we need two starting calibre players right now, not next year? Also, it’s difficult even envision Mykolenko and Patterson being worse than how Kenny and Coleman played yesterday.
Only Everton would sign two full-backs in January & then continue to persist with the ones that weren’t originally deemed good enough. Recruitment drive needs a total revamp. Could learn an awful lot from likes of Brighton & Southampton. #EFC— Ryan Taylor (@RyanTaylorSport) March 7, 2022
Gordon Toils Alone, Again
Where would we be without the youngster?
There was only a couple of Everton players that showed they deserved to be playing in the Premier League yesterday, and it should be embarrassing for the squad that it’s the youngest of the lot who is actually showing any sort of football smarts and putting in the effort, something Lampard described as the ‘bare minimum’ in his post-match comments.
The manager went on to indicate that he felt a number of players seemed to give up in the game, and that he had noted down who they were. With a crucial pair of home games coming up against Wolves and Newcastle, it’ll be interesting to see who makes the matchday squads in those games.
Gordon goes over to clap the remaining Everton fans, gets applause back. Deserves that for the effort he put in. Raises his hand up apologetically and then limps off. Wasn't on him— Patrick Boyland (@Paddy_Boyland) March 7, 2022