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5 Telling Stats from Everton’s Salvation Against Bournemouth

The biggest goal of Abdoulaye Doucoure’s life proved enough to keep the Toffees in the Premier League for another year at least

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The fate of Everton Football Club, one of the most historic footballing institutions on planet Earth, was only decided all the way down to the final day of the 2022/23 Premier League season.

On Sunday, a boisterous Goodison Park conjured up the club’s salvation via a 57th-minute howitzer from Abdoulaye Doucoure in front of the Park End. As Peter Drury so eloquently described, “The brick and mortar of this football museum are quaking!”.

The scenes were nearly as incredible as those seen when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header sealed a 3-2 comeback victory to secure safety a year ago. The problem, however, is that these moments of bedlem at the Grand Old Lady have been produced by moments of escape rather than moments of success. This summer window will be crucial for the Toffees in regard to the squad, staff, and board. If nothing changes, another Merseyside Miracle may be required to secure survival for a third season running.

Here are 5 Telling Stats from Everton’s salvation against Bournemouth.

1. Staying Where We Belong

Everton Football Club will play top-flight football for the 70th consecutive season in 2023/24. That is the second-largest streak in England, only behind Arsenal, who will play their 98th consecutive season in August. Simply put, Everton being in anything but the first division is unacceptable and unthinkable. Luckily, the Toffees have escaped relegation for a second straight year, and have remained where they belong.

2. Decisive Doucoure

Abdoulaye Doucoure was supposedly close to joining Fulham in the January Transfer window until Sean Dyche pulled the plug on the deal upon his arrival at the club. That turned out to be a season-changing decision, as the Mali international contributed massively to Everton’s great escape. Doucoure’s 0.41 G+A/90 this season was the second most he’s managed in his career, only trailing his ridiculous 0.84 as a 20-year-old at Rennes. The Toffees did not lose a game in which he registered a goal contribution, and he inked his name in Everton history with his rocket volley which kept the club up on Sunday. Everton recently confirmed that they have activated the one-year extension built into Doucoure’s contract, and that was certainly deserved.

3. Everton’s Iron Man

It’s safe to say that Everton would not have stayed up without the signing of James Tarkowski. The 30-year-old arrived on a free transfer from Burnley last summer and went on to play every single minute of the season for the Toffees. His 99 blocks led the league by a wide margin (second-place Kilman had 70), and he also finished second in clearances only behind Ethan Pinnock. Everton have wasted an astronomical amount of money in the Moshiri-era, but Tarkowski has already proved to be one of our shrewdest acquisitions in recent memory.

4. Survival by Sean

When Sean Dyche was initially appointed Everton manager, I outlined just how difficult a job he was inheriting in my article “Do Everton Have a Chance of Staying Up?”.

Let me pull out a few quotes to illustrate exactly what Dyche has accomplished:

“Upon Sean Dyche’s appointment as Frank Lampard’s replacement, reports came out that he was ‘being promised three to four signings’, but that figure quickly shrunk to two, and then one, until the window slammed shut on Tuesday night without a single addition to an Everton team which has not won a match since October and has only picked up three league wins all season.”

“According to FiveThirtyEight’s projection model, Everton have a 68% chance to go down; the most of any club in the Premier League. They also have a league-high 30% chance to finish dead last, which narrowly edges out Southampton’s 29%. However, Southampton secured the signings of both Kamaldeen Sulemana and Paul Onuachu from Rennes and Genk respectively to bolster their attack. Meanwhile, Everton’s attack worsened, as Anthony Gordon was sold for a hefty sum, none of which was re-invested in the hopes of keeping Everton in the top flight.”

If that doesn’t illustrate just how good a job Sean Dyche has done to keep this sinking ship afloat, I really don’t know what would. Now it’s time to back him in the market.

5. Condemning Context

Although the sense of relief upon Stuart Atwell’s final whistle was comparable to if not greater than that of the Palace comeback last season, the fact remains that this season is not something to celebrate. Statistically, this was the worst season EVER in the 145-year history of Everton Football Club. If it weren’t for Leicester City and Leeds United somehow being even worse than us, Everton would have certainly been relegated for the first time since 1951. Broad changes to the club’s board must be made IMMEDIATELY to ensure we do not find ourselves in this same position next year. If anyone needs any more proof of the current leadership’s incompetency, take a look at the three worst seasons in the club’s history according to points per game. Who was chairman for all three of them? Bill Kenwright. Enough said. To echo the sentiments of Goodison Park directly after full-time time; SACK THE BOARD! NSNO!