Carlton Palmer, while speaking exclusively to Football FanCast’s Tom Ward, has questioned Everton’s chances of qualifying for a UEFA competition this season and delivering on Farhad Moshiri’s mission as majority owner.
Everton came out of the summer as one of the Premier League’s most in-form clubs with four-straight wins, while remaining one of just two sides to be unbeaten after five games following October’s Merseyside Derby draw with rivals Liverpool.
The Toffees’ form and proving they could hold a candle to the likes of Jurgen Klopp’s title-holders saw claims emerge suggesting Carlo Ancelotti could secure Everton’s return to the Champions League, something the Blues have not secured since David Moyes’ side featured in the 2005/06 edition of the competition.
However, since taking a point in the Merseyside Derby, Everton have endured what Palmer describes as a “disappointing” run having lost four of their last five Premier League fixtures to leave Ancelotti’s men eighth in the table.
“They got out the blocks quickly, didn’t they? They started very, very quickly. I mean, they’re seventh [eighth] in the table and they’ve had a stutter,” Palmer told Football FanCast. “Players have got to settle into the way Ancelotti wants them to play. And they’ve got to adapt to the type of football he wants to play.
“But where do you realistically think Everton are going to finish? I don’t see them finishing in the top-five. So, they’re not far off where they’re going to be at the end of the season. I think we’re just a bit disappointed because they were out the blocks as they were, I don’t see them finishing any higher than where they are now [7th at time of interview], if they do finish there at all.
“They’ve had a disappointing few results. But, as I say, I didn’t expect them to have started as well as what they did.”
Only Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have taken fewer points (zero) in the five Premier League games played since Liverpool’s trip to Goodison Park last month, with Ancelotti’s Everton and Dean Smith’s Aston Villa claiming just one win to four defeats.
The contrasting fortunes of Wolverhampton Wanderers (11 points), Southampton (10 points) and West Ham United (10 points) in the same period has seen the three outfits move above Everton in the standings, while league-leaders Tottenham Hotspur have opened a five-point margin to the Blues.
Everton’s form will be a major setback to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League by the end of the campaign, but like Palmer suggest, they have endured this stutter yet remain just a point behind fifth-placed West Ham.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti must get ruthless and end a dud’s 14-year Everton association.