The return of Fortress Goodison?

, 3 April, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Champions League challenge built on impressive home record

Lap of honour for the 1963 League Champions
Everton's top-four challenge this season has been built on strong foundations – namely a formidable home record which compares to the glory years of the mid-1980s. Everton have been getting more points at Goodison Park, on average, than they have managed for more than 25 years.

If Roberto Martinez's men manage to beat Arsenal on Sunday, it will equal the nine-game winning streak which Howard Kendall's Everton side recorded on home turf in 1985-86.

Martinez's class of 2013-14 have won eight home games in a row since the 2-1 victory over Southampton at the end of December – and Arsenal are next up in arguably the biggest home game so far this season.

There's a real connection between the Goodison crowd and the players, said Martinez, who feels a relationship of trust has been forged at home games between the fans and players, and vice versa.

The current winning run comprises six league games and two FA Cup matches but, looking purely at Premier League form this season, Everton are averaging a superb 2.4 points per game at home (compared to 1.4 on their travels). They have pocketed 36 points from a possible 45, losing only once (to Sunderland) in 15 games.

It is a ratio which is almost identical to the one they managed in 85-86. They finished that campaign with an average of 2.43 points from home games, and bettered it the following season with 2.48.

Since then, the other best totals came in 1989-90 (2.37), 1987-88 (2.3) and last season (2.21). The big dip was in the 90s, going as low as 1.29 in 1992-93 and 1.32 in 1996-97.

These are good times for the Blues — but there is some way to go before the records of the 1960s tumble, when Everton chalked up 39 unbeaten league games at home from 1961-1963 (including going unbeaten through the entire calendar year of 1962).

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

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