There’s no denying that it has been a very disappointing start to the Premier League campaign for Ronald Koeman and Everton.
After a summer that seemed to promise so much, so far, Everton have really struggled and are currently sat in 16th place in the table. They’ve won 2 games from 7, drawing 1 and losing 4 and they’ve only managed to score 4 goals while conceding 12. It doesn’t make for great reading but could things change against Brighton?
The Toffees have endured a torrid time form wise but prior to their narrow 1-0 defeat to Sean Dyche’s Burnley, a game where Everton were the better team, they had picked up 3 points against a struggling Bournemouth side. Koeman has regularly switched systems this season as he looks to find a winning formula but when they have a bit more pace in their side, Everton look a hell of a lot better as a team. This has been proven somewhat over the last two games with Koeman utilising the speed of both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse in his attacking set up.
This will definitely stand them in good stead as they head to Brighton in search of 3 points, with the possibility of making it 2 wins from 3 and a chance to climb as high as 10th. Brighton have matched Everton in terms of wins, draws and losses so far this season but you would certainly expect The Toffees to head south as the favourites, especially if Koeman again looks to utilise the pace within his squad. Both Brighton centre backs, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, are big in size and you’d imagine they’d struggle to cope with the likes of Calvert-Lewin looking to play on the shoulder.
It has all been a bit doom and gloom at Goodison Park so far, but when you put things into perspective, it is extremely likely to improve over the course of the campaign. There is confidence within the squad that they can take maximum points from the Brighton game; and this has been reflected in bookmakers like Sportingbet.com pricing the Everton 13/10 and the home team 23/10 to win the game. An away win will give Koeman and Co great confidence heading into a big home fixture against Arsenal. Getting a result against The Gunners would be a monumental boost and it could be the real kick start Everton need to once again bet the team everyone knows that they can be.
Everyone knew losing Romelu Lukaku would be a huge blow to the club and everyone knows he hasn’t been replaced goals wise as yet. You’d expect Koeman to more than likely bring in a proper number nine to lead the line in January and look at it this way, that’s only 14 games away. Owner Farhad Moshiri has already given his backing to Koeman, even during this rough patch and you’d expect him to back the Dutchman financially in the winter transfer window too.
Many people have already written Everton off in terms of even replicating last season’s 7th placed finish. The fact is, there’s still a hell of a lot of football to be played and they’re probably only a striker short of being a real force. They could be 10th after the game at Brighton. Crisis? What crisis?