The Toffees started this 2020/21 campaign as well as they have ever begun a Premier League season. They won each of their first four matches and sat atop the table. Everton’s form has fallen off since the season’s first month, and they have slipped down to ninth. Managing just one win in their last seven matches, taking the shine off the Toffees hot start. Now they are looking for answers as they try to regain their early season momentum.
Everton’s Form Slipping Following Hot Start
Everton’s Form a Concern Heading Towards Holiday Stretch
The Premier League table is still a tight race in the top half, and the season itself is a marathon so it is not time to panic. However, three of the five remaining fixtures in December are against clubs currently higher in the standings. The busy holiday stretch can provide a chance to climb rapidly or fall from contention depending on results. Everton’s form is not ideal to head into such a busy run of matches, but a few good performances can change that quickly.
Ascending in Front of Goal
One of the biggest stories thus far in the 2020/21 campaign is the rise of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The young striker first began seeing first-team minutes towards the end of the 2016/17 season. He has seen his time and production on the pitch increase each year since. In his first two years, he struggled to find consistency in front of the net with only 10 goals in 67 appearances. He upped his efficiency as the main striker last season, with 13 league goals. Calvert-Lewin currently leads the Premier League with 11 goals in 11 appearances in the early stages of this campaign.
Everton’s early form coincided with their striker’s potency. He has shown excellent instincts in front of goal, with a knack for being in the right spot to finish off an attacking move. The England international is also a nightmare for defenders to handle on crosses and set pieces. He has the size, timing, and finishing ability in the air that can be a handful for the opposition. His goals are vital to the Toffees’ success, as he has scored four of the squad’s six over the past five matches.
Everton have gotten exactly what they need from their striker, now they need more of their creative players to pick things up. Calvert-Lewin has more than half of the Toffees’ goals through 11 matches. Wingers Richarlison and Bernard have only netted once apiece. They are too talented to not have produced more in the final third. The two Brazilians are crucial to the Everton attack and have to find their form in front of goal.
James Rodriguez signed this summer as one of the bigger names to find his way to the Premier League during the transfer window. His start on Merseyside was bright and impactful, but he hasn’t registered a goal or an assist since the 2-2 with Liverpool in mid-October. He is a world-class player with experience at the highest of levels with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. When he is on a form, he can change a game with his vision, passing, and striking abilities. His consistency week in and week out will be a key to Everton’s form moving forward.
The main issue during the Toffees recent slide is along the backline. They have not kept a clean sheet since a matchday one victory over Tottenham. They have allowed 18 goals in 11 matches. If they hope to challenge for a European spot or even higher, the defence has to improve. Injuries have had their effect on the Everton backline. They have been forced to mix and match players with little continuity from week to week. Centre back Michael Keane is the only player who has started every match in the back four, so finding consistency has been difficult.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford remains an enigma. He has the ability to be a brilliant shot-stopper, but he has also proved capable of some head-scratching miscues. This squad is also missing right-back, Seamus Coleman. The club captain has been dealing with a hamstring issue that has kept him out of the starting eleven.
Everton’s Form Crucial for Holiday Push
With Everton’s form slipping over the past few weeks, there is even more pressure on them to get back on the right track before the calendar turns to 2021. The Toffees have five matches in the next 21 days. They host Chelsea at the weekend with a chance to gain ground on the top four. Everton began the season with high aspirations, and if they want to attain them they need to regain their form over the next few weeks.
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