Season Aims

Martin O'Connor 16/08/2019 4comments  |  Jump to last

As we embark on a new season what should blues expect from the 2019-20 campaign. With the positivity around the designs for Bramley-Moore Dock, will the season on the pitch match this positivity?

As we enter the new season, is a place in the top six achievable? It seems clear that Manchester City and the Devil’s Spawn will be in the top six along with Tottenham Hotspur, as much as we would all like to see the shower across the park implode. Bu,t after that, we hit the other three teams who usually make the top six: Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Chelsea have their transfer ban and a new manager in Frank Lampard with just one season in management at Derby County last season, which ended in playoff final defeat to Aston Villa. Up front, they are relying on Giroud and Tammy Abrahams – not the most frightening. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are out for quite some time while the defence has a declining Azpilicueta and a defensive duo of Andreas Christensen, and the one that got away, in Kurt Zuma, who will need time to strike up a partnership. One of these will find themselves on the bench once Antonio Rudiger is back fit.

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Taking this into account and with the rookie Lampard in charge Chelsea certainly are not to be feared. Manchester United are relying on an attack which may have pace with Martial, Rashford and Lingard, but it is questionable that this front line can strike the heights for a whole season. With a Manager well out of his depth, United are also a team who may well be catchable. Arsenal are always liable to leak goals but have increased their firepower with the signing of Nicolas Pepe and are, in my view, head of both Chelsea and United.

So is a top six place achievable? Maybe if the toffees can hit there stride early and get some momentum. But the picture is not as clear cut as we have a chance to make the top six. Least we forget Wolverhampton Wanderers finished above us last season and will have their sights on a top six place, although Europa League commitments may well take their toll on this aim. More pertinently is Leicester City with a vibrant young team which has been together for some time and who have recruited well in the transfer window, while also selling Maguire for the ridiculous amount of £80 million.

Leicester certainly will be in the mix for a top-six finish. Watford and West Ham United may also have designs on a top-six finish. West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has actually said the season will have been a failure if West Ham don’t get into Europe. I actually don’t think Watford or West Ham are serious contenders for a top-six finish but Wolves (if they have an early Europa League exit) and Leicester certainly have as much a chance as the toffees. So although some of the so-called top six are vulnerable Everton have competition to try and crack the top six from both Leicester and maybe Europa League Wolves.

At the start of last season I thought it would take 2-4 transfer windows for Everton to finally get the squad, which Marco Silva wants, including finally getting rid of all the dross still taking a wage at the Club. In reality, this would take us, in my opinion, up to the 2020 Summer transfer window, especially as we did no business in the January window.

But if this is the case what can we expect from this season? Is it to be another season of transition? The answer must be no to a season of transition, but a yes to a season of progress, which means doing better than last season. Will this take us into the top six, that is questionable, we would have to make up 12 points on the team, Manchester United, that finished sixth last season.

But with the questionable state of United, Chelsea and maybe Arsenal then a chance is there. But with Leicester and Wolves also in the mix, it is a difficult task but not impossible. But what must definitely be the aim is to finish the season with more points than last season, this will be progress, and then we will see where that takes us. But added to this must be runs in both domestic cup competitions, we really have to take both seriously and go full throttle to win a cup. If we can have a real go at the cups and finish with more points than last season, even if we don’t make the top six it will be tangible progress.

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Reader Comments (4)

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Annika Herbert
1 Posted 16/08/2019 at 05:49:48
I am not so sure that Leicester will be in the mix to be honest. Yes they have a very good, young squad on paper but McGuire will be a big loss and their new players have not yet proved they can perform well in the Premier League.

But they do seem to rely too heavily on Vardy for the majority of their goals. If he doesn't score, who picks up the slack? I am not suggesting they definitely won't be up there challenging, I am just not so sure as others seem to be. A lot could well depend on who takes over from McGuire too

I think we have as good a chance of finishing top 6 as any of the teams mentioned if we can get into our stride nice and early. Hopefully this will start with a win over Watford on Saturday!
Simon Jones
2 Posted 16/08/2019 at 09:24:50
I find all this talk of getting into the top six to be somewhat glib. No-one ever talks about what it actually means.

It means a minimum of winning 19 games, drawing 9, losing 10.

Anything else will mean, at best, 7th. Take a look at the previous six seasons, the top 6 clubs (you know who they are), finished in the top 6 places 33 out of 36 times (6 seasons x 6 top places). The 6th placed club have an average of 65 points.

So compared to last season, we need four more wins and four fewer defeats. Simply turning a loss into a draw won't be good enough (unless we turned 12 of last season's losses into draws).

Positivity time - yes I think we have a squad capable of making 66 points this season, maybe more. Chelsea, Arsenal, ManU are all capable of having a poor season, but then WE have to be in a position to take advantage, not 3 points behind Wolves.

Personally I'd like to see us break 60 points, take points off the top teams and for once, have a decent cup run.

Jakub Kollar
3 Posted 16/08/2019 at 10:12:15
Very sensitive comment, Simon. We need to avoid draws like the one at Selhurst Park, otherwise we will not stand a chance in TOP 6 fight.
Danny Broderick
4 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:42:58
Momentum is massive in football. We have a decent squad on paper, although so do most of our rivals. If we can get some results, get some confidence and start playing well, we are capable of finishing in the top 6. Our defence (including Pickford) has improved immeasurably since Newcastle away in March. We will need a couple of players to step up though. We will need a striker who can score 15 goals as a minimum - be it Kean or DCL. We will need more goals from left midfield than Bernard offered last year also.

Fingers crossed!

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