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What’s Gone Wrong for Everton?

One club in Merseyside has enjoyed enormous success this year, winning trophies like the FA Cup and the EFL Cup as well as being up there in contention for the Premier League and the Champions League.

Under manager Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool has pulled itself out of the very deep rut it had fallen into and has returned to its former glory. Plenty of analysis has been conducted as to why The Reds have been so successful, covering everything from having the right players, to an aggressive approach to control play, and the allocation of training time to traditionally overlooked elements like throw-ins.

This success has made Liverpool one of the teams to beat, and most sportsbooks have had them as one of the two favourites to win most major football competitions for the last few years. As a result, sites like OddsChecker, which list free bet promotions and compare odds from multiple betting brands have seen an increase in the number of punters backing them.

But Liverpool’s neighbours, Everton, a team that has its stadium just the other side of Stanley Park, has endured the opposite fate.

While Anfield has been packed with cheering fans celebrating victory after victory, Goodison Park has been under a cloud of despair, concern, and dread. There has been a real danger in 2021/22 that Everton could be relegated, dropping the team out of the top flight of football for the first time since the 1950s.

But how did it get this bad, and what exactly went wrong for Everton?

The Wrong Managers

Over the park, at Anfield, Klopp has been at the tiller since October 2015. During that time, he has built the team around him and moulded it into the way he needed it in order to achieve success.

During that same period, Goodison Park has seen 10 different men take charge. Granted, three of them were caretaker managers, but that still leaves seven permanent recruits, a sign of serious problems.

Not only has the revolving door been working overtime at the entrance to the stadium, but the longest tenure of any manager recruited during that time was 17 months.

Just like in any business, one person choosing not to stick around for very long says more about them than the company. But when you have seven different people in the same role in as many years, then you need to look at the organisation itself and who is making the hiring decisions.

The club’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, is clearly committed and wants results as he has reportedly spent more than £600 million since taking over at Everton. However, this money appears to have been spent without a clear strategy.

Injuries

Injuries can be a problem for any team; even Liverpool know this. After winning the Premier League in 2019/20, the club saw a temporary drop in form due to key players being out of action due to injury. But once the club had a squad of fit and healthy athletes once again, the wins came flooding in.

But this has been an even bigger problem for Everton. This season alone, they’ve had Dominic Calvert Lewin out with a fractured toe, Richarlison missing due to a knee injury, Yerry Mina suffering with thigh problems, and Andre Gomes on the bench after falling awkwardly.

It’s safe to say that would they have been on the verge of being dumped out of the Premier League if they’d not had so many good players out of action.

Weak Defence

Everton went into their final two Premier League games of the season with a goal difference of -20. This is by no means the worst in the league, in fact, it’s better than all but one team fighting against relegation this season.

However, it’s a drastic drop in form from previous seasons. Last year, The Blues ended the season on -1, the season before on 12, and 2018/19 on +8.

While this decline is partly due to a lack of conversions by the players upfront, it can be attributed much more to the weak defence the team fields each week. Even with Jordan Pickford in goal, Everton needs a stronger back line to protect its goal.

While these issues are not going to be resolved overnight, there are signs that the right changes are now being made at Goodison. But whether they’ll take effect in time or not, is yet to be seen.

Photo by Unsplash

Article title: What’s Gone Wrong for Everton?

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