Let’s face it – being an Everton fan hasn’t been easy over the last twenty years. Unless you grew up in the 80s when the Toffees were at the top of the old First Division, there hasn’t been a lot to shout about since.
Yes, there have been top-four finishes and European excursions, but they’ve sometimes finished prematurely. Plus, there hasn’t been a domestic trophy to top off David Moyes’ or Roberto Martinez’s reigns.
2021 is different because Carlo Ancelotti’s men seem as if they are contenders for the Premier League’s top spots. It’s March and Everton are hovering nicely, just waiting for Man United, Leicester and Chelsea to slip up. So, why is this side better than most that preceded it?
Style + Substance = Success
Nothing is guaranteed until the season is over. However, we’re currently in an excellent position to finish in Europe at the very least. If all goes well, it could be the Holy Land that is the Champions League. Stylish, attacking football has been at the heart of Everton Football Club for a while, and it hasn’t ceased under a manager renowned for this fluid approach.
Still, what often goes under the radar is the practical side of this current crop of players. Alex Hess at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/everton believes the improvement in the Toffees’ defence started as far back as 2019, yet it’s even more solid thanks to the additions of Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey as they are confident enough to push up and help the midfield and strikers while being quick enough to react to counterattacks.
Another practical side most people miss is their clinical set play routines – Everton have an xG rating of 0.91 compared to the league average of 0.37. It’s these features that help them to grind out results against the likes of Man Utd and Liverpool away from home and pick up points they wouldn’t usually.
A World-Class Squad?
The squad might not yet be world-class, but there is a selection of players who are either on the cusp of the category or well within its limits. Of course, this is a reference to James Rodriguez, the Colombian forward who has lit up Merseyside with his stunning performances that have resulted in five goals, four assists and nine big chances created in just over half of a season.
There’s more information on this rise to Everton stardom at https://www.premierleague.com/players/. Yet he’s not the only one – Richarlison is also proving why he should be considered as one of the league’s best. Add Lucas Digne, Allan and Gylfi Sigurdsson, and it’s obviously a squad with a lot of skill and promise.
National Team Representation
Domestic competitions take a backseat every two years when a major international competition rolls around. In 2018, it was England’s push to the World Cup semi-finals that left them a whisker from a showdown with eventual winners France.
In 2021, it will be the Euros that brings football fever back to England and unites the nation. Watching England is exciting at the moment as nothing beats a big sporting event. Another element to the anticipation is the added value betting markets offer punters and fans. As https://www.mrgreen.com/ie/betting highlights, football has become a truly global game, which means great match odds make England fixtures that much better. This is one of the reasons England ties are by far the most popular amongst punters.
Betting markets are always there, yet Everton team members aren’t since Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and United often have a monopoly. This year is different as Jordan Pickford is the number one goalkeeper, Holgate, Godfrey and Keane could appear at the back, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is banging in goals.
Therefore, the excitement surrounding the 2021 European Championships will be even greater for Everton fans since it’ll be a few recognisable faces who lead the charge, on and off the pitch.
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