How worried should we be?

by   |   06/03/2022  43 Comments  [Jump to last]

As many of the regulars will know, I track results comparing them to last season as a way of seeing who is improving and who is not.

Since our defeat at Norwich on 15 January and the subsequent sacking of the man from Caldy, how have the rest done in comparison to their performance in games last season?

Norwich City – As the best side promoted (Champions), compared with the highest side relegated (Fulham) they have actually dropped 3 points compared to Fulham in their 5 fixtures. Currently they stand on 23 points.

Watford – As second-best side promoted, compared with second best side relegated (West Brom) they have dropped 1 point in their 8 fixtures and currently stand on 31 points.

Brentford – as the lowest side promoted (via the playoffs) compared to the team at the bottom (Sheffield Utd), they have picked up 1 more point in the 7 matches since 17 January and are on 36 points.

Burnley – having just escaped last season (17th) they have gained 1 more point in their 9 matches and are now at 33 points.

Leeds Utd – it is clear why Bielsa had to go having dropped 15 points in the 7 games when compared to their performance last season. They now are on 37 points for the last 38 fixtures. Can they stop the slide?

Newcastle Utd – Everton supporting Eddie Howe has turned them around and having lost 14 points compared to 20/21 season, they have actually gained 6 in their 5 games since Benitez was shown the door.

And finally, Everton are actually 3 points better than last season over the 5 games when Frank has been in charge (beating Leeds) and matching last season’s results we would finish on 49 points.

If we look at the number of points for the team finishing 18th, it has fluctuated between 30 and 35 for the last 22 weeks. So the mystical 40 points is just that. 18th is currently 33 points so safety is 34 points, or 33 with a better goal difference.

Apart from Newcastle (and Everton?), none of the 5 teams mentioned are showing signs of improving on their results from last season and any closing of the gap is more down to them playing fixtures where they picked up points last season rather than a serious improvement in their fortunes.

The worry is that our fantastic away form last season is now coming up against our woeful form this season. We have 7 matches away from home – and we took 19 points from them last season – Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham, Leicester, Liverpool were all wins. But our home form was dire last season and we have Newcastle, Brentford where we lost. We have gone 10 away games without a win, so unless that changes soon, we need to start having a few nerves.

The answer to the question is – a bit but not too much. 4 wins should be enough.

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 06/03/2022 at 23:22:53
That accountants obsession with figures still serves you well Phil- awesome stuff and I’d settle for it!
Jon Harding
2 Posted 07/03/2022 at 14:16:08
I'm very worried, Phil, about the threat of relegation in the short term as well as financial problems in the medium term (even if we do stay up) which will certainly impact performance in 2022-23 and beyond.

I don't think past points hauls is a useful form of predictor for any future results with this Everton team.

Yes, Watford and Norwich are rubbish yo-yo clubs but Newcastle have momentum now and maybe Burnley have a little. Leeds have a new manager too and Brentford – who knows?

Yes, we should have enough to stay up but it might be tight. I'm particularly worried about the games piling up due to our cup success and the winter covid backlog. We have at least 15 games left this term, hopefully 17!

This squad in recent times has never performed well twice a week. Every 7 days just about allows the recovery time needed. But the rearranged Newcastle game is midweek and there'll be another mid-weeker now we have the Palace cup game (and maybe a semi-final too). Plus there are 4 games still to be arranged! They will all be midweek between weekend fixtures. That does not fill me with confidence that our squad will be up for games every 3 to 4 days – see our performance at Newcastle mid-week when we'd played so well at home to Brentford in the cup only a few days earlier.

I'm hopeful but nervous in conclusion.

And as for the disappearing Russian (and Cazoo) millions. Well, the powers that be can't be that well-prepared if Usmanov had his $600 million yacht confiscated by the Germans last week!


Paul Birmingham
3 Posted 09/03/2022 at 22:15:36
Excellent report, Phil, and it puts a realistic slant on Everton's greatest challenge since perhaps 1998 in terms of survival in England's top football division.

This is going to be an Evertonian Crusade but 5heir needs players in this squad with the same spirit of Everton supporters.

For me it's the mental damage inflicted to the squad from the Spurs defeat. But hopefully it won't get to Death or Glory, as I fear this squad doesn't have enough guts.

Anthony Gordon true grit, if only the rest of the squad had half of his fighting spirit and guts. Alas, one player doesn't make a team.

Frank will have to register as player-manager next season, like Howard Kendall did first time around...

But there's a long way to go but it's no time for feeling sorry and the usual crass apologies from the players. Some players I sense know now that they are done at Everton, after Monday night.

Trying to be optimistic it could be the game (turning point) that can start saving, this season if there's a positive winning response vs Wolves.

I hope Demarai Gray is fit to play, and I'd start Rondon, and maul the Wolves centre-backs.

Well… easier said than done.

Steavey Buckley
4 Posted 09/03/2022 at 22:27:55
Everton, for the best part of the 2021-22 season, have played dreadful football, although Benitez did well until Calvert-Lewin became injured followed by Richarlison, Doucoure then Mina.

Mina has been a huge loss for Everton – he is not only the leader on the field, but he is also a fantastic defender. Everton's record when he plays is very impressive with 50% Everton wins when he is playing, that considerably drops when he is not.

Danny Baily
5 Posted 09/03/2022 at 22:30:15
Jon 2, it might be tight? We've picked up 9 points since September. We're absolutely odds on to go down. People should come to terms with that sooner rather than later.

There's still hope, but we'll likely need 3 points this weekend.

Andrew Keatley
6 Posted 09/03/2022 at 22:58:33
Danny (5),

We're actually not odds-on to go down; we're still hovering around 7/2 to get relegated.

“Odds-on” actually means something to people who are interested in gambling and probability, and absolutely isn't a phrase to be substituted for the much less specific “highly likely” – which is I think what you mean.

Paul Birmingham
7 Posted 09/03/2022 at 23:38:01
Danny, 100%, this is the first Waterloo, of this season, and by God, this squad must give no less than blood, sweat and tears with victory against Wolves.

The clock is running and the games left are running down.

Beat Wolves, Skunks at home and the Watford and Burnley away, and who knows.

But the days of beating West Ham, away, on the current form, are very long odds, but it would be great if we did.

Hearts and minds, but we don't have a goal scorer any more as the team, rarely keeps its shape, even when the best players start.

Nirvanas and plenty more, will be needed the next 3 months, to keep Everton safe in the Premier League.

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 09/03/2022 at 00:19:40
Norwich & Watford are probably gone. It then comes to momentum.

Newcastle's is upwards, Burnley is slightly upwards, Brentford and Leeds are, at the moment, neutral – it remains to be seen if the acquisition of Eriksson and the new Leeds manager is enough to change their momentum from neutral to upwards – however slight.

Our momentum is down.

15(?) left to play, forget this season. In the last 10 years; have we won 'games in hand' when we really needed them? Not very often. When other results 'went for us', have we taken advantage of it? Not very often.

For that matter, when did we last win away at Arsenal.

If you had an accumulator bet and your last race was 'Everton Staying Up' in the 3:00 at Goodison, your finger would be hovering over the 'Cash Out' and you would be sorely tempted.

I for one would hit the button and, if we stay up, that's a nice bonus.

But such is the nature of football and Everton, that two decent results and the whole picture changes – until the next week and we turn in another shite performance.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 10/03/2022 at 00:56:12
It will probably be an unlikely combination of circumstances that dooms us - or saves us.

An unlikely hero will arise, Gomes, Rondon, Tosun, Alli or some other total waste of space...Delph? who knows - or they won't.

And for what it's worth, I think Calvert-Lewin has been given the nod from Arteta and Richarlison is off to Man Utd.

Don Alexander
10 Posted 10/03/2022 at 01:49:33
The concentration people above give to what remains of this season is entirely valid but what hope is there for next season, or the one after it, or the one after that, when it comes to improvement on the pitch?

The current hierarchy have truly fucked us in terms of even basic hope.

FFP-wise they've condemned us for some years to paupers when it comes to quality (and I assume "quality" is an unknown adjective in Iran and the Boys Pen when it comes to signings), the war in Ukraine has massively reduced the wealth of Moshiri and his similarly sleazy employer, and we only have the self-serving greedy fingers of shyster Kenwright to, don't laugh, "lead" us into a new world of even moderate success.


Let's just hope our new blokes, with zero credentials in governing a successful Premier League club at all mind you, namely Sharp, Cahill and, especially, Lampard and his own coaches, can miraculously and quickly meld together to entirely change the culture of our constipated club and generate a huge shit to relieve us from the decades-long shit-fest we've had to endure.

Steve Carter
11 Posted 10/03/2022 at 02:07:18
Lies, damn lies, and statistics. We have far too few players with any team spirit, let alone collusion. Frank has not been able to address that.

Yeah, we beat Leeds. They have even less than what we've not got. Granted there was something there vs Man City. But it seemed to me our canary died at White Hart Lane on the weekend. I hope I'm wrong and it's still got a faint pulse.

Pete Clarke
12 Posted 10/03/2022 at 05:02:31
Truly horrible times for all associated with Everton right now. Absolute dereliction of duty by the Chairman of this club to have been the person directly offering advice to the football dunce he brought into this club.

So here we are, stuck on a cliff, and, despite the ropes being dangled for us to grab hold of, we just keep letting it go.

I was a wreck when we played Wimbledon all them years ago in a game that we were lucky to win. I don't know if I could suffer that again (being 12,000 miles away will help a lot).

Our eyes and minds are focused on those teams around us. There are games coming up where the points will go to the teams at the bottom around us because they play each other but then the weekend we play West Ham should see no gain for those same teams around us because of who they play. We need a point at the Hammers so the Ginger One cannot gloat.

My deepest feeling is that, if we get beaten by Wolves this weekend, then we will be relegated. Our morale is already low and defeat could see them crumble completely. If this happens, then Frank may as well play the youngsters and start the future re-build.

Frank Lampard has taken this task on because he is ambitious. This will set his own ambition back a bit and it's hard to know what Kenwright and Moshiri have sold to him. He could walk away if he's finding things are not how they should be internally. I hope he sticks around because he's a clever man, knows the game inside out, and knows what winning is about. He ticks all of the boxes for me.

As for the players, they have been coached poorly at Everton, that's for sure, but how can you come through every level of football and not know the basics?

Passing the ball 5 yards seems difficult for most of these players and most of them internationals too. Passing is just one simple aspect of what they have been taught all their lives but surely a bit of fight to keep us alive is the least we can get out of them.

These fuckers are millionaires on the back of being bang average and it's sickening. Most of them belong in the Championship but us Evertonians don't deserve to be there.

Let's hope Frank Lampard can get it into their thick skulls that they are being paid for something that should come as a basic instinct and they need to show some of it and fight like their lives are on the line.

Best wishes to all you Blues who are heading to Goodison this weekend but I've got those Wimbledon feelings running through my body again.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 10/03/2022 at 06:17:46
Given the fact that right now I can't see us garnering more than 35 points, then I'd say very worried.

We are probably taking one or two more points away from home, so we would need nine points at Goodison with some vicious looking fixtures ahead and downright dogfights against the likes of Newcastle etc.

Joe McMahon
14 Posted 10/03/2022 at 07:41:40
Very, as someone at work said to me yesterday:

"Having to play Keane (Why one earth wasn't he shifted out 2 years ago?) and Coleman (Why is he still at the club?) most of the season will see you guys go down. The over-rated Calvert-Lewin will not bring much the other end of the pitch either."

I couldn't and didn't disagree.

Lee Courtliff
15 Posted 10/03/2022 at 08:01:33
The Old Lady will save us.

(Yes, it's that bad.)

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 10/03/2022 at 08:05:11
Joe @14,

I would change that to: Why did we buy Keane? Some may disagree, but I've been consistent since we signed him. Not good enough for where I want us to be.

We, not for the first time, were sucked into the Sky and British media hype of over-rating English, British and / or Premier League players, who are sold at a premium.

Do your scouting and recruitment in the shadows, and leave it to football people. Do not conduct it in the media spotlight. That's how you will uncover gems at decent prices and avoid getting into bidding wars.

On the question: How worried should we be?

I am typically going to bury my head in the sand. Stay calm. Nothing to see here and everything will be okay.

Sorry. That's all I can offer. It's all I have.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 10/03/2022 at 08:31:25
The red media have a ball laughing at angry Evertonians whilst the rest of the media just don't seem to understand how much we crave a team that we can identify with.

The only good thing about Everton right now is their incredible fan base. Angry with good reason, especially the people who travel the length and breadth of this country to watch a gang of cowards serving up unadulterated shite.

These very people epitomize what Everton have always stood for, and, if Everton are to survive, Goodison Park is going to be absolutely key.

Tony Everan
18 Posted 10/03/2022 at 08:51:28
Phil, I think your conclusion about we need to ‘worry a bit' but not too much is accurate to a point. The point being is our defence is all over the place. Under Ancelotti last season, it wasn't perfect but it was much more stable. The current incarnation that started against Tottenham doesn't inspire confidence going forward.

Someone said yesterday the win rate without Mina is 25%; with him, it is 53%. I don't know if that's accurate but it shows how important that a dominant centre back is to a team. Mina will be sold in June, his replacement is a huge signing for the club.

Going forward for these remaining games, Frank has to address this and find a defensive formation and formula. It's not easy for him to do it. What combination do you pick? There isn't one right now that is the silver bullet and many of our problems stem from that.

Can anyone come up with a solid defensive solution with players we have got available?

Christopher Timmins
19 Posted 10/03/2022 at 09:01:56
The next two games which are both at home are crucial to our prospects as they will give a clearer picture of the damage done as a result of Monday night's capitulation.

There are lies, damned lies and statistics, however, 8 points from the last 18 games tells its own story. It's hard to believe we had 14 points after match day 7.

Our next 13 games look more difficult than the previous 13 so we have reason to be worried.

Leeds, Newcastle, Watford and Norwich are all in action tonight so its an important night results wise.

In the wind up I think it will be 1 of 3 from Leeds, Burnley and us to join Watford and Norwich.

Sean Roe
20 Posted 10/03/2022 at 09:22:00
We have yet another manager who refuses to change his tactics to suit the opposition & a group of players that aren't good enough in most cases but more importantly have zero fight.

I can only see Norwich & Watford have less quality than us but bags more fight.

We are in serious,serious trouble!

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 10/03/2022 at 10:06:31
The new manager bounce (what there was of it) is over now, and Lampard looks as flummoxed as the players. I can see nothing in our form over the past few months that suggests we'll be playing Premier League football next season. In fact, I can only see the pain of home defeats to Wolves and Newcastle next week, with the players we have, playing the style we are playing.

Lampard, the right man at the wrong time. All I've wanted in recent years is to see an Everton team playing some exciting football, winning more than they lose, occasionally finishing in the European places, and maybe even winning a domestic cup competition. I think that could have happened under Lampard, in the right circumstances. But he's taken over at the wrong time and, even in the unlikely event (based on form) of us surviving, it looks like he'll have very little money to rebuild a squad which is at least five or six players short of being competetive at the top level.

Lampard plays open, front foot football. That's his signature. That won't get this squad wins at this stage of the season.

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 10/03/2022 at 12:01:41
Norwich are gone so I'm filling them out.

Watford are probably two more bad weekends away from going.

That leave us, Leeds, Burnley Brentford.

Frankly I'd rather be Brentford with points on the board than games in hand because you have to actually WIN those games in hand for it to matter.

When you are Everton with two wins since September, winning games in close proximity is asking a lot.

Personally I think 34 points will be our tally.

Burnley will get 34 also I think.

Leeds will probably reach 35.

Brentford will get 37.

So that leaves it arguably down to goal difference between us and Burnley.

Jerome Shields
24 Posted 12/03/2022 at 19:43:22
Everton have four home games in the run-in and really need to make support backed home play count. On Everton's present form, none of these games is easy.

The concern I have is that Everton are only getting a result every other game and the run-in fixtures are starting to come thick and fast. They don't have the squad or the intensity of training necessary.

Frank needs to have learnt big lessons from the Tottenham game in regard to tactics and selection. The one away game against West Ham, we will have to hope Moyes bottles it, as he is prone to do in the run-in.

I agree with, Don big changes throughout the club are needed to get Everton off their 27-year merry-go-round. Hopefully there are no repercussions from breaching the FFP rules, which if not would give Bill more kudos with Everton's offshore owner.

Bill is worse than Covid to get rid of and a persistent nuance in any path to progress.

Tony Hill
25 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:08:29
I am very optimistic. Burnley lost again and they're fucking terrible. Leeds are the same. And yet we sit here cringing and chewing our handkerchiefs like a bunch of twats.

Yes, we need to win games but let's gather our courage. The trembling on here is pathetic.

We really have to sort ourselves out as fans: I think a significant number of us are secretly thrilled by the prospect of our failure. The death drive, don't you know.

Danny Baily
26 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:17:34
Tony 25, where have you been? We've won just twice in 6 months. We're rubbish, that's why people are worried.
Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:20:22
Many of us have been present at what has been served up Danny. Justifiable worry about the situation but I'm still optimistic as I always have been as an Evertonian.

We're staying up and going to a Cup Final. Until that doesn't happen I won't believe it.

Come the summer we will be talking about next season in the Premier League and Europe.

Yes, I'm an optimistic fool. But that's not an unrealistic outcome.

See you all at Goodison tomorrow. I can't wait.

Brian Murray
28 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:31:07
Tony post 25. Even if it meant a new competent board which I badly want there’s no way even the most masochist of us would want us to drop. I don’t even want the top six Moyes standard of a decade or more no wins at a big ground but top six. I’m in the nev southall camp of aim and plan for the top to be a force. Employ top coaches ( check ) a decent dof ( check I hope ) and football and fortunes can change very quickly. Just hang in there lads that’s all we ask. For now
Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:37:21
Brian, to repeat myself:

We are 9 times league champions. We are Everton Football Club.. We have standards. Well, we should have.I have.

When Alex Ferguson, the former Aberdeen manager took over at Manchester United, he didn't accept low standards for a club that, at the time, was below ours on the pitch. He raised them.

Accept mediocracy and you will live in that space.

Be ambitious and you will achieve success. Be submissive and you will not;

Brian Murray
30 Posted 12/03/2022 at 20:53:14
Danny. I’m on the same hymn sheet albeit not breathing out just yet. Got at least a decade on you so still vividly remember Bally like a man possessed bossing games left right and centre. No better than you or any other blue just a tad fckin terrified.
Tony Hill
31 Posted 12/03/2022 at 21:05:10
Danny @26, of course we've been dire but too many of us are defeatist. We maximise our weaknesses and the strengths of our immediate competitors.

Brian @28, yep hang in there. I have a vision of an Everton side that is tough, attractive and ours alone. I believe it's going to happen.

Jerome Shields
32 Posted 12/03/2022 at 21:18:52

That win rate is a real concern. I did not add it to my post, because I was afraid to look it up. It is grind out a result time, with a team that needs to get it's act together and individual players need to really focus on that. I had to add the latter since I do have doubts.

Geoff Lambert
33 Posted 12/03/2022 at 22:09:51
We have 7 points from our last 15 games.7 points thats not even .5 of a point per game. I f we carry on like this in our final 13 games we will be going down. We need to take points from the teams in the mire like ourselves. Thats not defeatist thats realism.
Barry Rathbone
34 Posted 12/03/2022 at 22:14:23
We have games in hand and presently sit outside of the drop zone. It is a great position as our fate is entirely in the players' hands – which is why a lot of us are resigned to playing in the Championship next season.
Simon Harrison
35 Posted 12/03/2022 at 22:18:45
I am a very, very positive Evertonian; and I'd like to ask a hypothetical question on here;

"What would your thoughts be, if, we lost to both Wolves and the Barcodes, let's say by 0-2 and 1-2?"

NB I'm not being pessimistic or a doom-mongerer, I'm just genuinely interested in what fellow blues would think.

Personally, I'd settle for Frank to play 5-3-2 in defence, and 3-5-2 going forward, with our two young fast lads, Patterson and Mykolenko at R/LB ~ Not going to happen I know.

I have a feeling Frank will go with;

Holgate, Godfrey, Branthwaite
Coleman, Allan, VDB, Doucoure, Kenny
Gordon, Richi


Jeff Armstrong
36 Posted 12/03/2022 at 22:23:10
I’d rather we’d have dropped into the bottom 3 tonight if Burnley could have got a draw at Brentford, it would have kept Brentford in the mix and given these fuckers proper reason to win at Goodison tomorrow, as it is we are are not in the relegation zone, an excuse for the players to think a draw is a good result, when a win is a necessity.
Jerome Shields
37 Posted 12/03/2022 at 22:58:05
Jeff that is the doubt I am talking about.
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 12/03/2022 at 23:24:28
On paper we should have enough to get out of trouble but when I see our weak kneed, gutless players fold under pressure I’m not sure we can survive this time around.

Lose tomorrow and I think we’re gone. There’s no fight, or pride, amongst these players which makes me fear the worst.

Danny Baily
39 Posted 12/03/2022 at 23:55:24
I genuinely don't want to come across as defeatist. I hope we go on a run of three or four games where we pick up points and move toward safety, starting tomorrow.

I was hoping it was all down to low morale under Rafa, but the Villa match suggested otherwise. Then I hoped an actual manager (no disrespect to Dunc!) might change things. But the harsh truth is we're rubbish and we'll be lucky to stay up.

If we do stay up I'm sure Frank will lead us to a more comfortable finish next season.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 13/03/2022 at 00:24:46
Colin #38, I saw plenty of fight and pride against City. I saw it against Leeds. I think it's there.

What's lacking is confidence. The players get discouraged and here-we-go-again when things go sour.

I predict we scramble four points from the next two games and breathe again.

Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 13/03/2022 at 00:27:33
To paraphrase Oppenheimer “now I have become Darren” as I think of tomorrow frothing at the mouth. Keane and Holgate are very wealthy, and and causing hurt. They sound a lot like oligarchs and should be banned
Mark Taylor
42 Posted 13/03/2022 at 01:14:58
On a scale of 0-10, I'd answer the question now as a 4-5. So not outright panic just yet but the form we are showing will take us to 6, 7 or 8 quite quickly if not arrested. We are definitely in a relegation dogfight right now and if that is painful to admit, it is nevertheless probably wise to face up to that reality. Hopefully our besieged team does so too and will respond. But I've been saying that for a while now, only to witness repeated failure. My fear is we spiral out of control. That could happen.
Pete Clarke
43 Posted 13/03/2022 at 02:32:58
To put it quite simply. We should be very worried about our current position and if we are defeated today by Wolves then that worry will escalate to extremely nail biting fear and dread.
I think we have been extremely lucky to still be sat above the relegation zone and this owes more to the 3 teams at the bottom being as poor as we are but certainly not worse than us.
So everything now is on Frank Lampard and his coaches to get this fragile team of ours to put up a disciplined fight and make sure we do not get beat. Tactics will be everything and we will learn a lot about our new manager in the coming games because he’s just been taught a lesson and needs to come up with a strategy that suits the players at his disposal ( appropriate word for the end of the season )
Steve Brown
44 Posted 13/03/2022 at 02:43:52
If we can scrape to two victories in the next week, we will survive. I don't care how we play, the results are everything.

Then Frank Lampard and Keith Therwell can focus on restructuring the footballing side of this absolute mess of a club.

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