I wrote the “Reality Check” article back on November 12th just after we managed to draw with Chelsea and raised the issue that whilst the form we had shown since the Liverpool game had undoubtedly improved since last season and even this early season, we had only done so against pretty poor opposition — Larissa , Derby, Birmingham, Luton.
I stated then that let's get off cloud 9 and review again on the last day on the year after we had played a further 10 games, some of which were against quality sides — Pompey, Zenit, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Well, let’s review what we’ve done since mid-November and what we can expect.
Played 10, Won 7, Drew 1, Lost 2.
On this form and IF they were all Premier League matches we would had finished last season with 83 pts in joint 2nd position. But they weren’t all Premier League matches. Even so on the form over the 7 Premiership games we played we would have finished last season with 70 pts in 3rd position. Overall we can all be very, very clear that Everton are improving significantly and we can state a number of facts :
1. We are no longer relegation fodder
2. We clearly are a top 10 side
3. We clearly are a side that should qualify for the UEFA Cup if its entrance includes the 6th position
4. We are becoming European experienced
5. We are becoming a Cup side
6. We are not yet a Top 4 team
7. We still need to play to our best and win against the 5th to 10th teams to ensure that UEFA Cup space (unless of course we win the Carling Cup)
I also said in my last article that in my opinion we are lacking a top midfield player to get us into the Top 4 or make that 5th position a definite. What I think demonstrates this clearly is that in the lost game at Man U and the draw against Pompey we never ever really got quality possession and therefore never really seriously threatened either team.
Against Arsenal we did control the game and I think at home we can do this even with the likes of Neville, Gravesen being drafted in to that centre midfield role BUT we cant do it away against good sides (1st-8th place). Once we loose Arteta, and on current form Osman we will struggle — God forbid the next 3 games without them both.
I still believe we are capable of securing the UEFA place but I do believe we are only a player or two away from challenging the Top 4.
We must not collapse over next 6 weeks whilst we are missing the African lads and also Mike and Leon or all the good work will be totally lost.
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1 Posted 30/12/2007 at 10:39:07
2 Posted 30/12/2007 at 11:40:54
Good job we have you to show us our limitations. I for one wouldn’t have been able to figure that one out for myself.
Actually as a "Look at me, I was right" piece it’s not too bad
3 Posted 30/12/2007 at 15:08:34
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