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Everton v Rangers 1963

Wondering why the British Championship home match against Glasgow Rangers was on 3 December when the match programme says 2 December 1963?

Stephen Docherty     Posted 16/05/2020 at 00:19:02

The greatest day in the history of Everton Football Club

I am just wondering, where were you 35 years ago right now? To start the ball rolling, I was in Dover harbour trying to get on a ferry. Just to add to it, so we’re a lot of other Blues.
Ian Smitham     Posted 14/05/2020 at 22:55:44

Goals for and against

With a very limited idea of how this summer transfer window will play out, I thought it would be interesting to think about how far we are in goals for and against from realising our ambitions.

Firstly, our realistic immediate ambitions are becoming top 6 and even sneaking top 4 (I'll ignore the cups).

So how many goals does it take to get there? Well, a quick bit of research based on the last few Premier League seasons suggests you need 30+ goal difference for top 4 and 20+ goal difference for top 6. And a bit of luck too, because even those goal differences won't always get you there.

In that same period, our average goal difference correlates well to our league placing.

It looks like this:

2014-15: 11th place 48/50 (-2)
2015-16: 11th place 59/54 (+4)
2016-17: 7th place 62/44 (+18)
2017-18: 8th place 44/58 (-14)
2018-19: 8th place 54/46 (+8)

So to turn our usual mid-table mediocrity into something enjoyable, we need (to state the obvious) to score more and concede fewer.

The thing is, to keep pace with the teams above us, we don't need to be that much meaner defensively. It varies quite a bit but 40 goals against is not unusual for top 6 and not unheard of for top 4. High 30s is quite common for top 4.

By a quirk of stats, Arsenal have finished with 51 goals conceded for 3 seasons on the bounce and made top 6.

Quality defenders make a difference but defending to me is also about team cohesion, organisation, leadership and team spirit.

Scoring goals relies on these things too, but it's also where the quality really counts. In our side, we have just two regular scorers in Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. Walcott and Sigurdsson have scored big goal hauls in the past but those days appear to have gone. Who else?

Our creative players are not goalscorer:

● Iwobi (1 in 10 for Premier League goals)
● Bernard (1 in 11 for Premier League goals)

And the two we're counting on for centre-midfield next season:

● Gomes (no more than 3 a season)
● Gbamin (about 1 a season)

Digne and Mina chip in a bit (Mina should score more) but we're way off top 6 and particularly top 4 unless we can add about 20 more goals.

How do we solve this?

Option 1: Play Kean alongside Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. It depends on how we set up but personally I don't think this looks particularly well-balanced or effective. One of Kean or Calvert-Lewin is more likely.

Option 2. Rehabilitate Sigurdsson. Hmmm... Maybe with Gbamin and GGomes behind him, it could work. It's not an attractive option, unfortunately.

Option 3. Buy a right-winger who scores a lot.

Option 4. Buy a box-to-box midfielder who scores a lot.

Option 5. Buy another centre-forward who scores more than Calvert-Lewin.

Option 6. Develop younger players.

The trouble with options 3, 4 or 5 is the expense. Most players in those categories will generally have better options than Everton unless there's some weirdness or baggage or they're coming from a weaker league. We can probably afford one such player, eg, Neres or Malcom for right-winger but that won't leave much spare. Seems to me to further reinforce the idea of picking up young talent and nurturing it. And also working with the likes of Gordon, Simms, Dobbin and Cannon.

But, if we're going to progress, we need at least 20 more goals from somewhere.

Robert  Tressell     Posted 08/05/2020 at 16:27:50

Unsworth and Ablett

I thought to ask fellow Blues this question about these two former players:

I have always wondered if we played Unsworth and Ablett in their best positions?

I could be wrong, but I recall that Unsworth broke into the team as a centre-back?
And he acquitted himself well during that initial period. Was he moved to the left because we lost Andy Hinchcliffe, and that there was a surfeit of centre-backs?

Likewise for Ablett. I was under the impression that he was playing more as a centre-back while he was at Liverpool, and was also doing that when we first bought him.

Can any fans can shed more light or thoughts on this?

Terence Leong     Posted 01/05/2020 at 07:21:22

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