Carlo Ancelotti has done a stellar job as the head coach of Everton. In many ways, the Toffees job is a poisoned chalice. The Merseysider’s are a sleeping giant of the English game. They have history and the fanbase to be successful, but have failed on the pitch of late.
In Ancelotti, they have a head coach that finally looks capable of guiding Everton back to the right end of the table. This season is a promising one, but on Saturday evening a worrying trend continued, as the Toffees suffered a 2-1 home defeat by struggling Burnley.
The poor home form continues
The defeat was another galling home loss for an Everton team that has now won just once in their last seven home matches in the Premier League. That recent record includes four defeats in their last five league outings on home soil.
The worrying issue is that those home defeats were not against the top teams. Instead, the Toffees have suffered losses against struggling teams like Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley. The strange thing is not only did they lose against strugglers, they were outplayed. They made struggling teams look good and that is the concern for the club’s fans.
A lack of depth in the squad
It is easy to forget that Everton finished 12th place last season, yet they are still in contention to finish in the European places. Ancelotti has managed that relative success with a small squad of players. Last season the squad was not great, but the Merseysider’s strengthened in the summer with the quality of addition of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
They have made a big difference to the Toffees season. However, all three have endured spells on the sidelines through injury. Both James and Doucoure are both currently sidelined due to injury problems. The loss of the legs of the latter particularly is a big one. The French midfielder is the player with the energy and pace to get Everton up the field. There is a suggestion that Doucoure could be out of action fall the rest of the season. His loss could prove fatal to their hopes of making the Premier League’s top-four or even top-six.
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Their away form gives them European hope
Everton finishing in the European places in the Premier League this season would be major progress after the last few seasons of mediocrity. Ancelotti has done a solid job, but the experienced Italian boss will know that his teams home result have to improve.
However, it has got to the point where Evertonian’s actually dread home games against out of form teams. They would even prefer to face the bigger teams in the league, as the Toffees have won at Liverpool, Tottenham and Leicester, while also winning against Chelsea and Arsenal at Goodison Park.
Considering the Merseysider’s have been superb on their travels in the Premier League, the home form is slightly bizarre. Ultimately, it seems that Everton’s home form may well prove to be where they fall down in their quest for continental action for next season.
Will Everton’s home form cost them a European spot for next season?