Monday, August 29, 2011

Everton Season Review 2010 2011

 Nowhere is there a greater sense of permanence in the Premier League than at Goodison Pork. David Moyes, nine years since taking over as boss, was able to select Tim Howard, Leighton Baines and Sylvain Distin to start every league game last term, with the two Phils, Neville and Jagielka, both starting over 30. While this stability is no bad thing, in a way it highlights one of the club's biggest problems - a wafer-thin playing squad that is largely a mixture of senior players the wrong side of 30 and relatively inexperienced youngsters. You'd probably expect a club with such a season strongly before eventually fading away, but in the last two campaigns Everton have done the exact opposite, twice finding themselves deep in the bottom half at Christmas before eventually surging up to respectable finishes by springtime. If Everton were able to maintain the kind of form they have shown over the second half of the last two seasons then they will be on to a winner. 

 Combine the points totals of the last 19 matches of the previous two campaigns and Everton would be left with 71 points, which was enough for Champions League qualification in both 2010 and 2011. Adding some depth to their squad -particularly upfront - will be the simplest way for Everton to find an improved level of consistency, but with the Goodison Park outfit unable to compete financial with the premier League's other big sides, they may instead look to a promising group of youngsters to bulk out the squad. With James Vaughan's switch to Norwich thinning out Moyes' squad further, the manager's only early summer move sow him resign 17-year-old defender Eric Die from Sporting Lisbon. Indeed, don't be surprised to find yourself becoming familiar with other untried young players at Goodison over the course of the next 10 months, such as French forward Magaye Gueye, midfielder Ross Berkley and England youth international Hallam Hope. A likable and solid side, who would be great if they could keep injury-plagued striker Louis Sana fighting fit and in the team every week. It's o big if, though. The Toffees actually fared slightly better without Saha last season, taking 30 points from the 22 matches in which he featured - an average of 1.36 o game. Without the Frenchman they averaged 1.5 points. 

Moyes generally looks to deploy a fluid 4-5-1 formation, with Tim Cahill supporting attack-minded full-backs, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman, Everyone works extremely hard, making for an XI that's very hard to beat when it hasn't been plagued by injuries. Watch as half the squad drop like flies, leaving any hopes of a European push hanging in the balance. Ask Baines if he'd mind ever so kindly playing every minute of every game again, and hope Phil Neville con chip in with a goal or 12. Everton aren't fazed by facing the other big boys - 28 of their 5*. points last year came against the rest of the top 10. This included four apiece versus Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City. The Merseysiders scored a relatively paltry 51 goals lastyear, and will need to address their lack of potency in the final third, especially with their defence not as watertight as it once was. Don't get complacent in the cups - March's embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to Reading came just 10 days after the Toffees hod recorded a famous penalty Shootout win at Chelsea. And dont mention Brentford... Everton haven't lost two successive league matches since November 2009. This run of 55 games is the current longest in the Prem. Always competitive against the top six but without a red-hot striker and luck with injuries, they'll again struggle to break into it .




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