Everton began the season in the sort of sparkling form we’re more accustomed to seeing from them towards the end of a season, winning at home to Man Utd on the first day. However, from game 12 (an away loss to Reading) they lost their way and didn’t quite get back in touch with the high performance levels required to prise 4th place away from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham. They did, however, remain above rivals Liverpool throughout Moyes’ last season in charge.
The dips in form that undermined Moyes’ last season were around games 12-15 and 25-27. Admittedly these periods included respectable draws against Arsenal and Man City but were punctuated with losses to Reading, Man Utd and Norwich (games 12, 26, 27) and a salvaged 3-3 draw at home with Aston Villa.
By only losing 7 games all season, they actually bettered Spurs and matched both Arsenal and Chelsea but couldn’t convert enough draws into victories on the road.
This point is repeated in the above chart, which shows Everton’s heavy reliance on points at home in their league position. They also only lost 1 game at home all season (vs Chelsea) – less than any other team.
Everton performed admirably against the top half, but need to capitalise against the bottom half more often than they did last season in order to stand a chance of a Champion’s League place. Interestingly, their goals scored record improves proportionally as the standard of opposition is reduced, however their defensive record is quite even no matter who the opposition.
Everton were able to field over 50% of their starting line-up in minutes played equivalent of 31 games or more last season – the highest of any team reviewed so far. The average quality of their top tier of players is also excellent, but there is a drop off in quality beyond those 5 or 6 first names on the team sheet which suggests that they lack the depth to maintain their highest levels when 2 or 3 of their best players are absent.
- Won more fouls than any other team (499)
- Third highest number of crosses attempted (989)
- Third best home record behind Manchester Utd and City (42 pts)
Fellaini won 10 TPOEM team man of the match awards, of which 7 were also overall man of the match. This pushed Baines out by a whisker as he also gained 7 overall man of the match awards (all his awards were both team and overall).
Anichebe also dominated Jelavic’s stats for the season, suggesting that he might be more suitable to lead the Everton attack on a permanent basis.
For the first time, the Best XI line-up for Everton actually represents a balanced team with 4 defenders! Previous teams have been filled with attacking midfielders and forwards due to the general bias towards attacking stats over defensive stats, but Everton’s best XI shows a good mix. This may be an indicator of salary constraints at Everton, which suggests that the squad budget has been optimised in favour of fielding the best possible first team.