With the recent break in fixtures and, whilst keeping up with events in Dubai, I have been ruminating on our results this season, in particular against the so called “Big 6” of the two Manchester clubs, our lovable neighbours, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
This was in the light of our recent capitulations in North London, whilst some of those teams fighting for their very Premier League survival have upped their game and got results against the big boys. Newcastle have beaten Man Utd, Swansea have beaten Arsenal and Liverpool, & Bournemouth have beaten Arsenal.
It would appear that, in spite of a catastrophic season that nobody envisaged, Everton are still in with a chance of finishing 7th, with, depending on your perspective, the poisoned chalice/added benefit of Europa League qualification. Phenomenal…
So, almost in spite of ourselves and our many attempts to set the house on fire, are we still “best of the rest”? Has it just been a season of stagnation, rather than progress?
Below is a mini League table of the other 14 Premier League clubs and their results against the Top 6. It comes with a health warning; bear in mind that Everton have only two games left (City & Liverpool at home) whilst others have more. This means that it’s not wholly apples against apples, but a pretty clear picture (of rotten apples) does emerge.
Thank God for Brighton, you might say.
- Everton are one of only four clubs (Brighton, WBA and Southampton) not to have beaten a Top 6 team so far this season; Brighton have played three games fewer than us, the Saints and the Baggies have one game “in hand”.
- Only Stoke City have conceded more goals (29 v our 27) and have a worse goal difference than Everton.
- Of the three points secured 1 was by Koeman (City, away) and two by Allardyce (Chelsea, home and Liverpool, away)
- Of our 5 goals 3 were against Arsenal (whilst shipping 10)
- We have failed to score in both games v Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd, conceding a total of 15.
- Only Brighton, Huddersfield and Bournemouth have scored less than the 5 goals Everton have managed.
In my opinion this shows, as many have said, that we have indeed gone backwards this season, by which I mean we are further behind the Top 6, less competitive against them. If we finish 7th it will be because the rest of the League has also got worse outside of the “big boys”. Every team below 6th has a negative goal difference; go figure.
Let’s hope we can break this cycle in the two remaining (back-to-back) home games against City and Liverpool. To go an entire season against the peer group we aspire to without a single win and with a goal difference in the minus 20s would be scandalous.
Be under no illusion we have a long way to go; further to go than this time last year. The facts, the results don’t lie. Two years in Moshiri must be shaking his head. Now he needs to find the right manager to kick start this Club and he needs to be ruthless with those who have overseen the massive underperformance of the “lost season”.
Dixie wouldn’t stand for it, whether the losses were expected or unexpected.