Everton are languishing in 11th place
At the start of the season, many expected Roberto Martinez’s Everton to challenge for the top four. The Toffees have shown plenty of quality at times this year, however their poor, inconsistent form has cost them. Everton are now 11th and have won just three of their 10 home fixtures this campaign.
It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Martinez’s side climb up the table but by the same token, the Toffees could slip further down the Premier League. Everton aren’t a bad side but they must learn to close games out. Until they learn how to defend a slender advantage, they will continue to drop points this season.
The Toffees play exciting football but sometimes overcommit in attack
Everton are one of the most attractive footballing teams in the Premier League and Martinez has truly transformed their style of play since taking over at the club. The likes of Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Kevin Mirallas are all outstanding attacking prospects while Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone are potent threats upfront.
However, their defenders often get caught upfield when they bring the ball out from the back. Both John Stones and Ramiro Funes Mori enjoy advancing into the opposition half but can leave the rest of their defence exposed. At times, Everton manage to force the breakthrough but they have also conceded due to their gung-ho approach.
Everton are prone to defensive errors
The Toffees have conceded 28 goals in just 19 matches this season – the 7th-highest total in the Premier League. While Stones and Funes Mori are competent defenders, they are prone to the odd mistake and the Toffees have dropped a number of points due to individual errors throughout the first half of the campaign.
Perhaps the guiltiest player of all is Tim Howard. The Everton shot-stopper has made numerous blunders this season and many Everton fans have called for Martinez to give Spaniard Joel Robles a run in the starting line-up. However, the Toffees boss has given his backing to Howard and it appears that the United States international will keep his place for now.
Everton have kept just five clean sheets in the league this season
In their most recent fixture, Everton conceded four at home against Mark Hughes’ Stoke City. In fact, the Toffees have kept just one clean sheet at Goodison Park this season and their defensive displays have been mediocre at best. Martinez must focus on improving their performances in front of their home supporters or risk alienating Everton’s loyal fan base.
Obviously, exciting attacking football is a huge positive but football is a results business. Everton struggled last season and their inconsistent efforts could come back to haunt them at the end of the present campaign too. If Martinez can turn their defensive fortunes around, they stand a great chance of sneaking into the top six. On current form however, they may struggle to beat the likes of Crystal Palace, Stoke and Liverpool to a Europa League place.
Can Everton finish in the top six this season or will their home form cost them? Let us know your thoughts!