Everton's Double Dichotomy

Jay Wood analyses the seeming contradictions of Everton's record against the Sky 6 and the rest of the Premier League, and their perplexing home form contrasted with their impressive results away from home in this topsy turvy season.

Jay Wood 16/02/2021 55comments  |  Jump to last

I said after the 3-2 away win at Fulham, based on the two very different halves of football Everton displayed that day, that we couldn’t yet trust this team.

Brilliant fast-flowing football in the first half in which Fulham was lucky it was only 3-1 to the Blues at half-time. Dire backs-to-the-wall football which saw us defending deep for the second half, just getting over the line 3-2

The schizophrenia continues... on two fronts:

  • First, there is the obvious discrepancy of our excellent away form to our stuttering home form.

  • Then there is another discrepancy between our results against the better teams contrasted to those in the lower reaches of the league.

Now the following analysis is based on games before we play Man City and Liverpool in the coming days, but in all fixtures played between the Sky 6 (Man City, Man Utd,

Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool) and ourselves, our results and points return are impressive:

Home and Away for Everton the Sky 6 when playing each other:


HOME

AWAY

TOTAL

TOTAL


TOTAL

 

 

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

H PTS

W

D

L

F

A

A PTS

F

A

GD

PTS

 

AV PTS PG

* PREDICTION

8

2

1

1

6

6

7

2

2

0

8

4

8

14

10

4

15

Liverpool

1.88

22.50

7

2

1

0

5

1

7

2

1

1

7

4

7

12

5

7

14

Man City

2.00

24.00

6

2

1

1

6

6

7

1

1

0

4

3

4

10

9

1

11

Everton

1.83

22.00

9

2

0

3

5

5

6

1

1

2

7

6

4

12

11

1

10

Spurs

1.11

13.33

8

0

3

2

4

10

3

1

2

0

3

1

5

7

11

-4

8

Man Utd

1.00

12.00

7

1

1

0

3

1

4

1

 

4

3

8

3

6

9

-3

7

Arsenal

1.00

12.00

7

0

1

2

1

5

1

1

1

2

2

4

4

3

9

-6

5

Chelsea

0.71

8.57

* Prediction for entire season calculated on 12 games x current average per game

We are currently 3rd in that table behind only Liverpool and City. We also have a much healthier points per game average against the other six clubs than all but those two clubs. City are averaging 2 points a game in these select fixtures. Liverpool 1.88 and Everton 1.83. The next best is Spurs on a greatly inferior 1.11. Chelsea sits bottom of this table with a paltry 5 points from a possible 21, averaging just 0.71 points a game.

On this front, currently all good.

Out of curiosity, I ran the results of the same seven ‘top’ clubs against the seven teams currently occupying the bottom seven places. Those seven clubs are Palace, Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle, Fulham, WBA and Sheffield United.

Again, the results are revealing. It won’t come as a surprise that we don’t compare well. BUT! We aren’t even bottom of that select results table. That ‘honour’ falls to Liverpool! This includes Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Newcastle on Monday.

Home and Away for Everton the Sky 6 when playing the bottom 7:


HOME

AWAY

TOTAL

TOTAL


TOTAL

 

 

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

H PTS

W

D

L

F

A

A PTS

F

A

GD

PTS

 

AV PTS PG

PREDICTION

9

6

1

0

16

1

19

2

0

0

6

0

6

22

1

21

25

City

2.78

33.33

8

2

0

0

8

1

6

5

1

0

14

5

16

22

6

16

22

Chelsea

2.75

33.00

9

1

0

2

3

5

3

5

1

0

14

7

16

17

12

5

19

Man Utd

2.11

25.33

8

2

1

0

3

1

7

3

1

1

6

3

10

9

4

5

17

Spurs

2.13

25.50

7

2

1

1

5

2

7

3

0

0

8

0

9

13

2

11

16

Arsenal

2.29

27.43

9

2

0

2

9

8

6

3

1

1

8

6

10

17

14

3

16

Everton

1.78

21.33

8

1

1

2

3

4

4

1

3

0

9

2

6

12

6

6

10

Liverpool

1.25

15.00

As you can see, all but two clubs are averaging more than 2 points a game versus the bottom seven clubs, the two Merseyside clubs. City, as you would expect, are the most ruthless, as are Chelsea. United are very impressive against this type of opposition on the road, but like Everton has tripped up at home (losses to Palace and Sheffield United at Old Trafford). Liverpool, other than the complete outriding 7-0 away win to Palace, are really struggling to get results against these teams, with the two recent loses to Brighton and Burnley at home indicative of this.

The second mini-league table highlights just how much our results against the lesser teams are hurting us. If, for example, we had taken the bare minimum, a draw, a point, from five losing games we reasonably expected to take something from – away to Newcastle, home to Leeds, WHU, Newcastle again and Fulham – we would now be sat on 42 points, equal with Chelsea and WHU with two games in hand on both.

I doubt this analysis will offer much succour to the deep frustration many feel about Everton’s many missed opportunities to cement a higher league position than we have attained. But it does reveal a strange dichotomy to Everton’s results this season. Good results and points return v better teams. Poor results and points return v lesser teams. Home form v away form.

Add it to the list of ‘Everton that’.

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Reader Comments (55)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:34:50
Nice piece of numbers work, Jay... although I'm not sure I'm any the wiser on the great mysteries of this season, such as: Why are we so godamn awful at home?
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:50:59
Interesting picture on the other Sky 6 clubs with their record at home to the bottom 7.
Thomas Richards
3 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:55:58
Thanks for taking the time Jay.

An eye opening article

Peter Warren
4 Posted 16/02/2021 at 21:02:46
Interesting article Jay. Worryingly, is it simply our results away and against top six have been unexpected and out the norm. If that’s the case we’re in for a shocking second half of the season.

My own view is that still a mentality issue with the squad / club but that if we keep with Carlo this will change and I think next season we will stop dropping points in these “easier” games and continue our good form against the “better” teams. Time will tell.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 16/02/2021 at 21:17:31
I think we have the same problem as Man Utd. Our manager is adept at making tactical moves to tackle top opponents. But against the "lesser" opponents when we should just "go out an play," we don't. No one takes the bulls by the horn. Is it arrogance? laziness? I don't know.
Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 16/02/2021 at 21:19:49
Without being too disrespectful you are doing the middle management thing of listing symptoms almost as though a solution. They never are.

As ever identification of answers is relatively straight forward it applies to us as it does every other middling non-entity outfit.

1. Get better players
2. Ensure said players give 100%

We have mid table players, bar Digne and James, and as a collective they hardly ever play at 100% hence our continued anchorage in the doldrums and the reason CA isn't being roasted alive over it is his CV.

The contention is a manager of his lineage MUST have the answer hidden in his waistcoat pocket and with time all will be revealed in as stunning a manner as the "Nelson touch" at Trafalgar.

Maybe, maybe not. Just keep a wary eye out for snipers Carlo.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

7 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:09:15
Thanks for formatting the tables Michael.

Only this morning, after submitting the piece last night, did I notice one error. Not a crucial one.

In the second table - results v the bottom 7 - the Predicted final points tally (which of course are just that - a prediction) were calculated in the spreadsheet by 12 x each team's current average points per game. It should be x 14, rather than x 12.

This elevates the predicted points tally for each team v the bottom 7 to:

Man City - 38.89
Chelsea - 38.89
Man Utd - 29.56
Spurs - 29.75
Arsenal - 32.00
Everton - 24.89
Liverpool 17.50

The numbers highlight the importance of dispatching lower placed teams to ensure a healthy points total come the end of the season.

Andy Crooks
8 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:21:56
Good article, Jay. It is a strange business indeed. What seems the obvious answer i.e, lesser teams defend deep, invite us to break them down and we can't because we haven't yet got the quality, just isn't the case. Lesser teams play us off the park.
We still play with fear and I believe some players cope better with fear when it appears justified. It wasn't against Fulham and confidence ebbed away.
We talk about gradually strengthening and adding quality to the squad. What also needs grown and nurtured is the collective back bone of this group of players. An atmosphere where a dropped head or negative body language is unacceptable. Where defeat is an utter affront.
By now Carlo must know which players have that in them. Truly great players are never luxury players but many a level or two below are. We need a change in mentality.
I believe that zombie football is actually fearful football and fear has been our default position for many, many years.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

9 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:23:33
Barry @ 6. This.

'Without being too disrespectful you are doing the middle management thing of listing symptoms almost as though a solution. They never are.'

In Brazil, they play a short clip of a famous TV presenter when showing highlights of a player missing a sitter, or making some cock-up. Your comment merits a viewing.

ERROR!!!

Not even knowing what the hell your statement refers to, I've simply put up the numbers and made absolutely no analysis or speculation on them.

I've left it to each reader to reach their own conclusions. Or ignore the data totally, as is their invidivual inclination.

Paul Smith
10 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:32:47
Basically the weaker teams beat stronger teams by being weak in possession but good on the counter. Unless you are city and you have a style of play that never changes irrespective of who you play.

What happened on Sunday we were poor at countering & possession.

Strange times.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

11 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:34:24
Andy @ 8.

'What seems the obvious answer i.e, lesser teams defend deep, invite us to break them down and we can't because we haven't yet got the quality, just isn't the case. Lesser teams play us off the park.'

Exactly, Andy. Both Newcastle and Andy absolutely played us off the park. Nothing fluky about their wins at all. They fully merited it.

This very season - in the last ten days! - we have dug deep and got results away to United and home to Spurs. The results at Leicester, Wolves and Leeds - 3 wins we fully merited - show just how focused, disciplined and determined the team can be.

The win at Sheffield United, a dangerous wounded animal, on the worst day of the season weather worse, is another good reference point that these players, this team, are more than capable of overcoming obdurate opposition in trying conditions.

Yet still, occasionally, we see such abject performances as against Newcastle and Fulham.

The double dichotomy, as the title says.

Barry Rathbone
12 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:51:00
Jay

It's almost odd you refute providing analysis when you wrote this:

"Now the following analysis is based on games before we play Man City and Liverpool in the coming days"

"I doubt this analysis will offer much succour to the deep frustration many feel about Everton’s many missed opportunities"

I say "almost" because you do have previous with comprehension issues nontheless if your piece was cobbled together to simply say

" Good results and points return v better teams. Poor results and points return v lesser teams. Home form v away form.
Add it to the list of ‘Everton that’."

What on earth was the point of all the number crunching to conclude what every man and his dog knows.

Smacks to me of a civil servant living in the back of beyond with too much time on his hands.

But if it keeps you happy

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

13 Posted 16/02/2021 at 23:08:28
Semantics, Barry. You're good at that, rather than ever making a genuine comprehensible or telling point. That and pouting.

Analysis. Data compilation. Call it what you like.

What I don't do, as you charged in your original post, is offer any deep conclusions or speculation, cause and effect, whatever, as to the evident dichotomy we are all aware of about Everton and our results.

I repeat, I leave it to each individual to reach their own conclusions, or ignore the data altogether. Not fussed either way.

What my 'number crunching' may inform others of is how the top clubs we are trying to emulate are performing against the same opposition at both ends of the table.

Something not all Blues primarily concerned with Everton's results and performances may be aware of.

Good of you to sacrifice so much of your own precious time to snipe at something you don't have time for.

But if it keeps you happy, 'n all that...

Si Cooper
14 Posted 17/02/2021 at 02:21:31
Being overly complacent when playing ‘lesser’ rivals isn’t exactly unheard of, and that makes things more annoying if it is some mental block that apparently limits the majority of our players in these games because you would expect ultra wealthy football clubs to have come up with a decent solution by now.
Perhaps players are generally less naturally competitive these days if the academies shy away from the overly zealous and cherry pick only the technically gifted??? Perhaps Everton are particularly poor at identifying those players with whatever particular ‘x factor’ makes players into crushers of the underdogs as much as the highly rated?
The occasional slow start to a game I could accept, but oft repeated examples of us failing to get out of second gear against sides we are expected to beat is extremely difficult to live with.
Darren Hind
15 Posted 17/02/2021 at 05:04:08
Ah... The snap shot analysis..Where would we be without it ?

"We are currently third in THAT table"...

Did you understand the music, Yoko. Or was it all in vain ?

Howard Sykes
16 Posted 17/02/2021 at 11:39:36
Do we have a sports psychologist to give them some therapy. If not why not?
Conor McCourt
17 Posted 17/02/2021 at 11:54:45
Personally I don't agree with the analysis we are good against the top teams under Ancelotti. We have played Liverpool three times under Carlo, United four times and City once. We haven't won one game of the eight.

For me the results against Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs while all excellent were as much about their problems as us raising our game. Only against Spurs were we exceptional. Had Aubameyang been fit and firing or Pickford not made that great save against Chelsea these stats would look totally different.

We were on the right side of two marginal results and they may have skewed the data. Once we play City twice, Liverpool at Anfield, Arsenal and Chelsea at bogey grounds will we find if there is any real merit in the analysis or just more skewed nonsense. Incidentally we lost at home to Spurs, and both Arsenal and Chelsea away last season under this regime to underline the unproven hypothesis of the narrative.

Mal van Schaick
18 Posted 17/02/2021 at 12:06:50
Statistics play a part in analysing our success or failures against individual teams, but there are so many variants, such as injuries, bans, formation, team selection etc etc.

So, although stats are interesting, fan opinion and analysis also plays its role, in what we and know from performances good or bad.

Barry Rathbone
19 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:23:13
Jay

Your words:

"we are all aware of about Everton and our results."

My words:

What on earth was the point of all the number crunching to conclude what every man and his dog knows.

So you agree with my summation without actually understanding you agree making your petulance even more bizarre.

ps. My "telling point" came as 2 points neither of which you addressed amidst your usual posturing

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

20 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:38:33
Ah…the knee-jerk reaction. Where would you be without it, Darren?

The ‘snap shot’ analysis is drawn from more than half a season’s results. In the same way the ‘snap shot’ analysis of the league table currently shows Everton in 7th.

You understand and acknowledge the data is a comparative, demonstrating the form of SEVEN teams against different sets of opposition and not just Everton, or you don’t.

Oh! And even John Lennon hit a wrong chord now and again. Not as frequently as your own discordant efforts on TW, mind.

Derek Wadeson
21 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:40:01
Slightly off topic but maybe not.

I listened to a podcast with Ashley Williams the other day where he stated how uncomfortable he felt playing for Everton. Fans expectations he said were a problem for him. At Swansea their fans didn't expect to win every game in fact they regarded wins as a bonus.

At Everton he didn't feel comfortable crossing the white line as he knew that any performance other than a convincing win would bring criticism.

Ashley Williams was not a success at Everton, a defender we thought would harden up our back four and did anything but. Maybe we have a few more players of the same ilk in the squad.

Thanks for the article Jay well worth reading.

Derek Thomas
22 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:49:50
Epic work Jay...I'm still none the wiser though. What I think is on our day we can lose to anybody, but its more likely to be to a 'top' team.

Any stats for dummies version?

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

23 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:58:28
Nice game of playing ‘what if’ as opposed to what actually happened, Conor.

Pity you don’t apply it honestly, fairly and accurately to the historic results you mention.

We didn’t lose at home to Spurs last season. We drew. No excuse not to remember it. It was the game in which Gomes suffered his dreadful injury.

Playing your game of ‘what if’, I guess you don’t recall the blatant Deli Ali handball that VAR looked long and hard at, but failed to give a penalty for an incident readily given in other games. AND that the game was played under Silva.

Other than all those inconveniences, good counter example from you, eh what?

Maybe you meant the away game at Spurs after the restart. You know, the game in which both teams were dreadful, but Spurs scraped home 1-0 with a heavily deflected Michael Keane own goal.

Then we have the narrow 3-2 loss at a 'bogey ground', Arsenal. Remember? The game in which defensive mistakes by the thankfully departed Sidibe cost us two goals? The game in which Andre Gomes returned within 100 days of his broken leg for a truly astonishing 30 minute cameo?

The game in which Mikel Arteta introduced a string of defensive substitutions in the final third of the game as his Arsenal side were under intense pressure from a rampant Everton seeking the equaliser?

Or are you applying your criterion of being ‘the right/wrong side of two marginal results’ in one way only, to denigrate Everton and the manager?

And as I’ve earlier replied to Darren, the two mini-league tables in my opening post are intended to flag up the form of SEVEN teams in the selected fixtures. Not those exclusively of Everton.

From the data, if you are so inclined, you can glean things like:

• How surprisingly woeful Chelsea are v the other top 6 teams, but how efficiently ruthless they are against lower ranked teams
• How United are not much better than Chelsea against the better teams. Indeed, in 8 games against better teams United have only one win (against Everton of course), suffered five defeats and scored just 7 times…and SIX of those goals have come in just the two games v Everton. ONE goal and NO victories in their other six games v the other top teams. Champions elect they are not
• We rightfully bemoan Everton’s form against lesser teams, but even so it isn’t as dire as that of the reigning PL champions.

I've put up the data as it currently exists. It's for others to interpret it or ignore as they are inclined. But at least be honest about it rather than jump through the hoops you do Conor in wishing to turn over actual results, whilst simultaneously referring to historic results that are irrelevant to the shared data.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

24 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:03:44
No petulance from me, Barry.

Giggling at you, maybe.

See my comments to Darren and Conor above.

If you can't understand and acknowledge the shared data makes for a comparative of SEVEN clubs and is not exclusively about 'the known' to Blues - that is, Everton's results against the selected opposition - then I can't help you further.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:14:11
Conor " Had Aubameyang been fit and firing or Pickford not made that great save against Chelsea these stats would look totally different."

And had...

I don't really see the point of what ifs in the context of this article. It's about what was.

Thomas Richards
26 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:24:16
If.
IF your Aunty had a corn on the cob she would be your Uncle
Robert Tressell
27 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:26:41
Really interesting article Jay.

There are a few conclusions we can draw from the data which I'll come onto. However, there's a big picture point here. Quite simply, to be a consistent force you need better players than the players we have. Tactics and individual performances could be better, of course, but we will not progress materially until we have a squad that's on a par with the Rich 6.

We are about £500m worth of talent worse off than City, Man U and Chelsea. That's the true price of consistency.

More granular points:

- we look more comfortable soaking up pressure and hitting on the counter. This is harder to do at home when you're expected to make the play.

- James is both a solution and a problem, sometimes within the same game.

- we don't stand up well to aggressive upstarts.

- we miss the home crowd to help intimidate the opposition.

- since about 5 games in we've been patched up and carrying players out of position or total passengers in some cases.

- Richarlison has largely stopped scoring.

But the solution in pretty much each case is that we need better players. Those players need to be fit, dynamic, aggressive and talented - and pose a serious goal threat. Until we've made real progress with this then unfortunately there will be dire results against apparently crap sides.

Rob Halligan
28 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:28:17
Brent # 25, you know the saying, "If me auntie had balls she'd be me uncle". It's another one of those posts that requires the "Seriously, why do we bother" response!!
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:31:09
Rob, I've got an auntie just like that.
Thomas Richards
30 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:33:35
An image of Kelly (Frank) Maloney just popped into my head there Brent.
Brent Stephens
31 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:40:37
So you've got the poster as well, Thomas?
Thomas Richards
32 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:42:28
Two Brent.
Brent Stephens
33 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:44:18
Before and after, Thomas?
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:45:14
And please don't tell me "during".
Thomas Richards
35 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:52:03
Warts and all Brent.

A stunner our Kelly

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:53:44
Cut it out, Thomas. I'm in stitches.
Thomas Richards
37 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:56:12
Hope it gets better asap.
Could scar you for life an incident like that.

Brent Stephens
38 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:57:43
Very good. I've got to hand it to you, Thomas.
Thomas Richards
39 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:58:15
Thanks.

You will need two hands.

Brent Stephens
40 Posted 17/02/2021 at 15:59:34
No skin off my nose.
Thomas Richards
41 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:02:36
50k the operation.

Good graft.

Thomas Richards
42 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:04:33
Always a pleasure Brent.

Up the toffees


Brent Stephens
43 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:04:39
I concede!
Barry Rathbone
44 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:09:08
Jay

"then I can't help you further."

Curb your tantrums and learn to walk before attempting such a run 😇

Dave Lynch
45 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:11:43
So the only predictable thing about Everton is the unpredictability.

Wig or no wig, I still wouldn't like a smack of Ms Maloney.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

46 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:30:32
Robert, I'd broadly agree with much of what you've written, but with one or two caveats.

* we look more comfortable soaking up pressure and hitting on the counter. This is harder to do at home when you're expected to make the play.

This has been Carlo's default game plan when results first suffered after our electric start to the season. To that you can add his hand was forced to a degree due to injuries and suspensions to players that gave us the fast start.

I'm not so sure about your second clause about us having to make the play more at home. Why? Because against 3 teams we basically didn't start to play any sort of game at all - v WHU, Newcastle and Fulham. THEY were the ones dictating to us. There was absolutely no spark from us.

Those defeats were not so much a tactical or physical failing, IMO, but rather a mental failing by the players. An ill-placed over-confidence. Either way, they represent annoying lapses. Because the players have shown this very season they can be very resilient, disciplined and technically sound against more difficult opponents, both home and away.

* James is both a solution and a problem, sometimes within the same game.

I remain a big fan of James, but there is some validity in your statement. He can provide that spark, that Je ne sais quoi that great footballers can produce out of nothing that can turn a game in our favour in adversity.

Equally, in difficult games, he can go missing, misplace really simple passes that puts us under pressure and worst of all - as clearly shown to me on Sunday - simply contrive to remove himself from the action 'cos he doesn't fancy it. The latter is particularly disturbing to me.

I don't think it impressed Carlo, either. When asked by the Colombian journo in Tuesday's presser if he thinks James is being deliberately targeted by PL henchmen and what can James do to avoid such attention, Carlo replied he doesn't believe James is being targeted, that he didn't consider the challenge that saw him subbed out as a bad one and if he wants to avoid the physical side of the PL the solution is he stops playing football, or we change the rules of football completely.

Carlo has consistently said he didn't bring James to the club to tackle and run, but to be the creator. It's a matter of balance of dovetailing James with other players that do the grunge work whilst he orchestrates. It has worked gloriously this season. It has failed in other games. Sunday v Fulham was such and not helped by selecting Gomes, Siggy and James in the same team.

* we don't stand up well to aggressive upstarts

On balance, I think I have to disagree with you on this one Robert. Our wins have come about because we have done just that.

I've already quoted in this thread one very good example that the team DOES have the qualities to dig in and see off less talented and more feisty teams: the away win v Sheffield United in atrocious weather conditions. I like wins like that from my Everton, as much as the days we run up 3-4-5 goals.

* we miss the home crowd to help intimidate the opposition.

This is something Carlo has consistently agreed with when asked. Me? I'm not so sure. Goodison can be hell for visiting teams on its day, that's for sure. If they had been present v Spurs, the stands would be roofless now. If they had been present v Fulham, they may well have made a bad situation worse. But we definitely need fans back in the stadium, no question.

* since about 5 games in we've been patched up and carrying players out of position or total passengers in some cases.

Already alluded to above. Agreed. But on that score Carlo has done well and continued to get results despite this handicap.

* Richarlison has largely stopped scoring.

For the most part, Richy's form has been a concern all season. Nowhere near the consistency or levels of his previous seasons at the club.

There were signs for me v Leeds, United and certainly Spurs that he was getting better whilst still short of his best. I cannot condemn him for his performance Sunday, given the role he filled and the total absence of service to him.

But we are missing his goals and assists, that's for sure.

It goes without saying that better players, with better attitudes and application, makes for better teams and better results. That doesn't excuse us failing to get better results and better performances in the here and now from what we currently have when within this very season they have shown they are capable of them.

Steve Brown
47 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:54:10
Given the tables presented by Jay are based on results, they are the most reliable and valid way to review the season so far. The logic of the sample group selection is also clear. I posted on another thread that Ancelotti has prioritised the Sky 6 matches in terms of squad preparation and rotation. Also, that this has been a mistake on his part that was resulted in unnecessary defeats against bottom half teams. The tables bear this out.

Conor @ 17, your logic is less clear. When we defeated Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea, the results were not down to our performances. However, where we suffered defeats they were down to our performances? You then categorise two of the wins as marginal and therefore assert they "may have skewed the data." Given they are results, how can they have skewed the data? Are you suggesting that league tables are now formulated on points awarded for "merited wins"? You are stretching this time.

Fortunately, the premier league trophy, European places and prize money are based on results and the table rarely lies. I remember when we began the season so well, doubters cautioned that we would know more after 12 games. Well after 24 games, we are 7th and will be 4th if we win our 2 games in hand - might not happen, probably won't but let's see.

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 17/02/2021 at 16:56:01
Fans could be a factor in skewing these numbers. While only a small group, the 2,000 for the Chelsea/Arsenal games were very vocal. Did they give us an edge in those games? Whereas no fans in other games saw the wind slip from our sails?
Robert Tressell
49 Posted 17/02/2021 at 17:07:50
There's plenty of truth in those observations Jay. In terms of aggression, I was thinking about the NCL game where they kicked the shit out of us and we just couldn't get into the game. But we're inconsistent so there are contrary examples too.

It comes back to the quality of the players though ultimately. The truth is that rich clubs dominate all the league & cup competitions domestically and across Europe. Their form is so good because they have the best players. And if someone is off the boil there are quality reinforcements.

So that statistics show us all sorts of interesting patterns etc - but what they're really telling us is kind of obvious (and indeed what we moan about in each live forum). The players aren't good enough.

Conor McCourt
50 Posted 17/02/2021 at 17:41:55
Brent/Steve the point of the "what if" is not to denegrate the result but had they been two draws there would be no article. The idea that we perform better against the better teams would be preposterous.

If we take four points or more from our next two games for example then that that would indicate that there is credence to the analysis in this article. Considering we have had four embarrassing encounters in our matches with the big three under Carlo's tenure the assumptions being articulated are a little fanciful at this stage.

I am merely pointing out that us winning at home to Chelsea and Arsenal are fixtures we can generally take points in (not so much Spurs away) and the sweeping statement that we perform better against the top teams hinge upon these marginal results.

As I say when you look at the whole picture of Carlo's tenure rather than a skewed snapshot heavily dependent on the fixture list and two marginal games then perhaps a different picture emerges. Four points in eight games against the big boys is fact. Previous defeats at Chelsea Arsenal and Spurs are also fact. If the author wishes to spend his defence around whether the Spurs defeat wasn't at Goodison then he is welcome.

The poster just last week told us how good we were doing in the league in the midst of one win from four as he went right back to just after our last defeat to show how good we were doing in that particular snapshot. He even told us how Carlo had managed resources better than anyone else even though we had two games less than everyone else over Xmas. He has history of dissecting snapshots.

Steve no hypocrisy. Once everyone plays each other twice we will have a clearer idea if we are better against the top teams. Tonight and Saturday are big games to prove the analysis correct. COYB.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

51 Posted 17/02/2021 at 18:06:38
Conor. This:

'[Jay] has history of dissecting snapshots.'

As opposed to you:

* completely rewriting history of our actual results this season in the compiled data
* appending unrelated results from last season to the same data
* not applying the same criterion to the unrelated losing results last season that you do to the winning results this season
* confidently predicting the future as to our likely results this season

All of which you did in your originally post, noted by more than just me.

And one more for good measure from your latest post Conor:

'the sweeping statement that we perform better against the top teams'.

The only person who has said that is...YOU.

I wrote the following conclusion based on the compiled data to reinforce the title of the article (Everton's Double Dichotomy):

'Good results and points return v better teams. Poor results and points return v lesser teams. Home form v away form.'

Quite reasonable. Not radical. Certainly not sweeping.

Good to see you being true to your word, continuing your self-declared sabbatical from TW until the end of the season Conor.

Jerome Shields
52 Posted 17/02/2021 at 18:32:53
Great analysis which shows that points taken from lesser teams are important in challenging for a Champions League place. Wenger achieved this season after season for exactly this reason, gaining points from lesser teams consistently.

Everton for twenty years have been unable to get out of the two result and a loss mid table pattern. The only difference is that a improvement in away results have underpinned progress under Ancelotti. Ancelotti after the Fulham game raised questions on a motivation and attitude deficit
of Everton players in winnable games against lesser teams. This happens often.

Jason Wilkinson
53 Posted 17/02/2021 at 18:36:00
I used to analyse our results in a similar way. I would compile spreadsheets v top 6 etc. Guess what? The better teams finish at the top. Annoyingly the RS always seemed to finish top v the other 5 plus us. Partly because while we could beat United, Arsenal or Spurs at home. We lost both fixtures v the RS. At best we got 1point from 6.
The main problem is the top six change every now and then. Arsenal are the prime example this season. We don't often finish bottom of this mini table. The problem is we do quite often finish bottom when you do the sums against the bottom 6. United tend to fair best in this regard. They rarely drop more than 6-7 points from the 36 available. Again, more volatile than the top of the league. If there is a conclusion to any of this. It is simply that we need to win more games per season to finish higher. It doesnt matter where the wins come or who they're against. Draws aren't much use either. I've tried converting the wins back to 2 points. It doesn't really alter the outcome at the top end.
Derek Taylor
54 Posted 18/02/2021 at 19:30:36
Last time I looked we were in seventh position and that after managing to feck up on at least half a dozen occasions. Continue along these lines and we shall still be on the brink of Europa qualification.

But if Carlo can't keep us in contention, he'll still be here for years as the Russian pay masters will be see Premier League status is all that is required to justify Bradley -Moore.


Everton will be Everton however much we scream !

Derek Taylor
55 Posted 18/02/2021 at 20:40:42
'the main problem is that the top six changes every now and then' says Jason @53. True enough but 'top six' only includes Everton very occasionally - half dozen such in this century. And we tend to see these seasons as portents of better things to come when i t usually signifies a drop into the lower half the season after.

I'm by no means the first to say it but the Moyes' time vision of success based on being 'best of the rest 'is still a worthy aim and for this season a 7th finish would indicate -but not guarantee-a more successful future.


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