English Premier League: Insights from Chelsea vs. Everton
With last week’s English Premier League predictions, we had Chelsea vs. Everton, with a 2 – 1 final whistle score. Although the final score turned out even worse for Everton, with a 2 – 0 defeat, the outright winner prediction was spot on, and it doesn’t signal good things for Everton. The team has struggled this year and any bettors who were hoping for a bounce back will feel disappointed, and it leaves the squad with a 23-year winless streak when playing away games against Chelsea.Anyone thinking about making picks on Everton in the coming games will want to take some insights from this recent game, as it can tell us a lot about how they will fare against the strongest teams in the Premier League.
Has Everton Learned from Previous Outings?
A 23-year winless streak is an abysmal record by all accounts. It makes the Everton / Chelsea rivalry one of the most one sided in history, and even though it has become something of a formality over the years, Everton still needs to work on their form. This is despite Manager Ronald Koeman brushing off the result after what he called a busy but productive week for the team. Everton played three games in a six-day period, and fatigue could have played a significant role in the defeat. The team was also without eight of their top players.The worst part of this team was a flaw in their defensive structure. Everton uses a three-man defensive line, which requires a lot of speed and can be particularly draining on the players. A three-man defense needs excellent fitness and composure on the field, and Everton just doesn’t seem to be able to put it all together.
Chelsea vs. Everton: How Did Key Players Perform?
When thinking about future bets and fixtures for Everton, it’s important to analyze performance from this game. A weekend against Chelsea was always going to be a huge task, and it’s a difficult game to come at the start of the year. Looking at a few of the key players we can gain some insights that could prove valuable as the season progresses. Goal keep is unenviable position to play in a match up that was always going to be a defeat. However, Jordan Pickford performed well and was arguably the most composed player in the Everton lineup. He conceded two shots but performed well with everything else that came his way. Most of these were distance shots, but it can still be said that the score would have looked much worse if somebody else was playing in the box. Number four defender Michael Keane was ineffective, especially as he missed an opportunity to stop Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) from scoring the second and final goal of the match. Keane has been impressive this year, but in this game he lacked any real bite. It could come down to low morale in a game that he didn’t believe could be won, or he could simply have been having an off weekend where he was outclassed by Chelsea’s offense.Mason Holgate is another defender who didn’t perform well. When he had the ball he didn’t do much with it, and he didn’t look comfortable in his position.The lackluster performance continued with Ashley Williams. There was a lack of communication between the defenders and Williams was one of the players who just didn’t look good on the field. Phil Jagielka had a slow and ineffective first half, but came back in the second to perform slightly better. The highlight of his match was blocking a shot from Willian Borges. He’s a starting player so we do have to mention that he is partly responsible for the dismal three-man defense.In the midfield it wasn’t certain ahead of the match that Idrissa Gueye would be playing. Any positivity that the team felt for him being deemed match fit would have immediately been forgotten when he was sent off early in the first half with a yellow card, after an unnecessary and ill-disciplined foul against Cesc Fabregas. Many fans and even some experts were calling for a red card while the match was in play. Gueye can sometimes come off as overly aggressive, which wouldn’t be a problem if he challenged the opposition cleanly. This is something that he’ll need to work on to avoid further disciplinary strikes in future games.With Wayne Rooney, Everton has one of the most successful footballers on their side, but he seemed to be limited in what he could do in this game. The formation clearly doesn’t work for Rooney and his play style, and a pass to Sandro during the second half of the game was the only real sign of him stamping his presence on the match. It ultimately didn’t result in a goal, so despite Rooney’s obvious and proven past performance, he just wasn’t able to make a difference in this contest. Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is another strong attacker who simply wasn’t given an opportunity to show his talent in this game. Everton didn’t have the possession to give Sigurdsson anything to work with, and the team were simply within their own half for too much of the game.
Overall Rating of Everton
Out of 10, it would be fair to give this team a rating of 5 for their performance against Chelsea. Despite knowing ahead of time that they weren’t going to win, they looked like a team that were significantly outclassed. Although it might be hard for some fans to swallow, they looked like a team with a defeatist mentality, and if they’re even to break their losing streak against Chelsea on away games, they’re going to need to believe that they can win. Everton will have better chances of winning when they start their next game against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, September 9. The short break will give them some time to regroup, and they’ll be playing at home which will leave them with a slight advantage for the refreshed players to take confidence from.