Cheesy caption of the day, Can Everton soar to greater heights this spring?
Another season is halfway done, well close enough for us, and Evertonians everywhere are eagerly anticipating the second half surge that the squad has been known for over the past 5 plus seasons. With goals in even shorter supply than usual, but the same defense as usual, it will take everything in the team to challenge for a European spot once again. The only incredibly shocking thing is that things are slightly better than the past two years despite what the internet may think. What follows is a statistical look at where the team is, and where this season can go from here
The table below breaks down the first half of the season for this year as well as the 5 seasons prior.
|Season||First Half Points||Matches Played||Final Position|
As you can see, Everton are on track to finish in the top 7 once again,although it will be more difficult this go around with the number of teams who have increased their spending and their quality over the past two years. With a match against bottom of the table Bolton on Wednesday, another 3 points to cap off the first half of the campaign would be fantastic, and put the club closer to the first half point totals from the two years the club finished 5th in the standings.
All of this speculation is for naught if the team can not secure the normal 30 plus points that is typical each spring season. The biggest stumbling block to this plan is of course goals. The club has only managed 19 goals during this campaign, and even last year managed 24 at the halfway point. The return of Landon Donovan for two months will hopefully allow the club to bag a few more goals than normal over the next few months.
The defense does have some work to do, allowing 20 goals so far this season. Last year Everton had conceded 22 during this time, including the unusual 4 goal match against West Brom. There is certainly room for improvement on this front, the only question is if the players will step up and play well with the lack of new arrivals.
The last statistic to look at is Everton's home and away form. Normally Goodison has been a fortress for the Toffees, but this year they have already lost more games at home than they did all of last season, although they have also won more games away from home to help balance things out. The one thing to look for, especially at home, is the number of matches Everton draws. The Toffees have only drawn 3 matches all year, and last year the team drew an absurdly high 15 matches. While draws are better than losses, Everton needs to get 3 points as often as possible at home to make life easier.